Your Guide to Equine Health Care

Legislators Make Latest Bid to Ban Horse Processing

The legislation would ban U.S. horse processing plants and prevent the transport of horses to foreign slaughterhouses.

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A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers are backing a bill that would ban horse slaughter in the United States.

In 2007, a combination of legislation and court rulings shuttered the last existing U.S. horse processing plants in the Illinois and Texas. Congress subsequently prevented U.S. horse processing by stripping the USDA of funding for inspections at facilities that process horsemeat for human consumption. Funding bills contained similar amendments until November 2011 when lawmakers passed an appropriations bill that did not contain language specifically forbidding the agency from using federal dollars to fund horsemeat inspections. Afterward, horse processing plants were proposed in several states, but none became operational. Succeeding federal funding bills contained language once again denying the USDA funds for horse processing plant inspection.

In the meantime, U.S. horses have been exported for processing at plants in Canada and Mexico .

Federal lawmakers have since attempted to ban domestic horse processing outright and prevent the transport of horses to foreign processing plants, but that legislation died in previous congressional

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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