The country’s last horse slaughter house was closed in 2007 after a federal regulation essentially banned interstate shipment of slaughter horses. This was a good thing if you feel that no horses should be slaughtered for food. This is a bad thing if you believe the lack of horse slaughter houses has resulted in an epidemic of abused horses. Since 2007, slaughter horses have been sent to Canada and Mexico, but now a Missouri legislator has introduced legislation that he thinks may help to reopen a horse slaughterhouse in his state, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The feds stopped horse slaughter by refusing to pay for inspection of the plants. Rep. Jim Viebrock (Republican from Republic) has a bill that would provide funding to pay for federal inspections. The feds don’t think the law will work, and that interstate transport of horses for slaughter will still be banned. Viebrock and his supporters — which includes the state director of agriculture — think it’s worth a shot.
Meanwhile, the cases of horse neglect appear to be rising, at least according to horse owners. “A report by the Unwanted Horse Coalition revealed that, of the 27,000 horse owners and industry stakeholders surveyed, 90 percent believe that the number of unwanted horses is rising,” according to the paper. “If you look at what’s been happening since these facilities have closed, it’s really telling,” said Mark Lutschaunig, of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The Humane Society disagrees, saying no one knows if there’s been an increase in abused horses.