with Horse and Hound

Movement Afoot to Re-Open Horse Processing Plants

There are movements stirring to re-open horse processing plants in the U.S. The last remaining processing facility, which was located in Illinois, was closed in 2007 by a federal judge. Although horse processing was not outlawed, Congress, in 2006, curtailed the US Department of Agriculture’s inspection of such plants.

Just recently, a Summit of the Horse conference was held in Las Vegas in which strategies for reviving the horse processing industry were presented and discussed. Proponents say it would revive an industry, stabilize prices at the bottom of the horse market, and be a more humane way of dealing with abused and abandoned horses, which are now transported thousands of miles to Canada or Mexico.

“Once they’re across the border, we don’t know how they’re being treated. If we process them here, we will do it humanely and the meat will be properly inspected,” says Nebraska Senator Tyson Larson.

Larsen spoke at the Las Vegas conference and introduced a bill in his state last week that, if passed, would create a state meat inspection program that could eventually allow Nebraska to ship horsemeat across it’s borders.

In the past, some U.S.-processed horsemeat was sold to zoos, but most of it was shipped overseas to markets and restaurants. Read more in Heather Johnson’s article in the North Platte Telegraph.
January 16, 2011