Congress Blocks Horse Slaughter for Meat

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Last year, we told you that a horse slaughterhouse in New Mexico was working to open its doors and begin processing (read: killing) horses for human consumption. Valley Meat Company, located in southern New Mexico, had been trying to get up and running since 2011 when Congress effectively lifted a ban on horse slaughter.

Last week, Congress ensured that the plant and others would not being opening anytime soon. On Friday, President Obama signed a budget measure that prevented federal money from being spent on horse slaughterhouse inspections.

See also: First Horse Slaughterhouse in the United States to Open Soon

The measure provided temporary funding for the U.S. government (good job, Congress) but blocks the U.S. Department of Agriculture from spending money on the inspection of horse meat. This move effectively reinstates the ban that forced all horse slaughterhouses to close in 2007.

On the downside, the legislation only bans the practice through September. After which time the measure could be extended "in the event of so-called continuing resolutions that keep the government's spending on autopilot," according to the Chicago Tribune.

Animal rights proponents argue that horse slaughter plants are inhumane.

"Americans do not want to see scarce tax dollars used to oversee an inhumane, disreputable horse-slaughter industry," Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society says in a press release. "We don't have dog and cat slaughter plants in the U.S. catering to small markets overseas, and we shouldn't have horse-slaughter operations for that purpose, either."

But others -- including Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) -- argue that horse-slaughtering plants are a practical way to deal with old and abandoned horses.

"Without these facilities, aging horses are often neglected or forced to endure cruel conditions as they are transported to processing facilities across the border," Inhofe wrote in a release. "This provision is counterproductive to what animal rights activists are hoping to achieve."

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.