A new bill being proposed by Missouri Representative Jim Viebrock will bypass a 2006 federal law that prohibits federal money from being utilized for the inspections of horse slaughter plants. The 2006 law put the last remaining horse slaughter plants in Texas and Illinois out of business, however; it doesn't specifically outlaw slaughter.
The new bill by Viebrock will establish state-level USDA inspectors for slaughter plants, in turn making it possible to export horse meat to Europe and Asia where it is considered a delicacy. I've never tried horse meat (and don't intend to) but while I was in Europe it was offered at most restaurants I dined at. Viebrock says that the biggest hurdle will be the USDA allowing the circumvention of the current anti-inspection law.
Prior to the 2006 legislation the horse slaughter market was strong; however, since the law has been instituted the lack of a market has given rise to more neglect and abuse of horses that people can't afford to care for, but would have been sold for slaughter. Additionally, the lack of care for horses intended for slaughter has "killed the horse market" states Jim Joyce, veterinarian.
Chris Heyde, deputy director of government affairs with Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C., said Viebrock is "naive" to believe Missouri could pass a law that bypasses the will of Congress.
"He's markedly misinformed about the industry," Heyde said.
Looks like there's gonna be a showdown on Capitol Hill over this one. What's your opinion - let me know!
Until next time,
Labels: advocacy, horse slaughter, policy