Horse meat, it’s what’s for dinner — if the U.S. House gets its way

WASHINGTON — Animal advocates are keeping close watch on Congress amid concern that a moratorium on horse meat production may be in jeopardy.

Congress shut down the industry nearly a decade ago by cutting off funds for USDA meat inspectors. But in July, a key House committee approved an annual farm spending bill that would lift the ban.

The full House then ratified that shift in policy, for the first time in two years — opening the door to revival of an industry that many Americans find repugnant, but which some horse owners view as a practical way to dispose of unwanted livestock.

Horse meat is consumed in a number of countries, including Mexico, Japan, France and Belgium. Two of the three U.S. slaughterhouses serving the export market before the 2006 ban were in North Texas, in Kaufman and Fort Worth.

Foes of the industry — a loose coalition of animal advocates and others — are optimistic that the Senate will extend the horse meat ban in its version of the annual agriculture appropriations bill. But many worry that support for the ban is eroding, and that congressional leaders will give up the fight in the crush of year-end budgeting. The ban on horse slaughter for meat production was among the last issues negotiated in last year’s catch-all spending package.

House Speaker Paul Ryan voted against a horse slaughter ban in 2006 before Congress defunded inspectors. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored a 2014 bill allowing for controversial horse training practices, so groups that oppose animal cruelty worry about his views, though he has opposed horse slaughter in the past. Democrats’ minority leaders in the Senate and House, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, have consistently backed the ban.

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  • Victoria smith

    Say no to horse slaughter

    October 3, 2017
  • NO

    October 3, 2017
  • Marilyn Harris

    Say NO to horse slaughter

    October 3, 2017
  • Horses have brought us through wars, plowed our fields, transported us from one location to another. They are our friends! Meat? For human consumption? Where do we draw the line? We are meat, too..should we eat each other like a cannibal???!! Horses should be off limits and I’m disgusted at the thought of those who eat horse meat!!!! Absolutely disgusted, heartbroken, and angry.

    October 3, 2017
  • Cree armstrong

    No to horse slaughter!

    October 4, 2017
  • tina

    No horse slaughter!

    October 8, 2017
  • Karen Hart


    October 9, 2017
  • RedElisa Mendoza

    Even to think about this gruesome issue makes our country look like barbarians!May the Good Lord give all concerned WISDOM!

    October 11, 2017
  • The concept of any horse being cruelly slaughtered, either here or in Mexico or Canada and sent abroad for human consumption is abominable! There are other means by which to save money on federal budgets! Certain wealthy groups seek to make much money on this issue – what has happened to the hearts and minds of some Americans?

    October 11, 2017
  • Sandi Stelz

    I can’t even bear the thought of horse slaughter in other countries much less in the USA. I cry when I think of those poor horses rendered paralyzed and then cut up alive! No animal should be tortured and killed like this. What kind of monsters do this to God’s creatures? Anyone who promotes or actually kills one of these magnificent animals will have to answer to God for what they’ve done.

    October 11, 2017