Animal rights activists are guaranteeing legal obstacles and protests in response, while supporters are content.
Rancher and Wyoming state representative, Republican Sue Wallis said that, “[Horse meat] is very high in protein, very low in fat.” Wallis finds it more efficient to run slaughter facilities in Missouri and Oklahoma, rather than having to ship U.S. horses to other countries, a method utilized during the ban.
Wallis mentioned that most of her business will come from abroad, but also noted the importance of having horse meat readily available for any American customer or restaurant that desires it.
Contesters, and Wayne Pacelle, president of the Human Society of the United States, finds the slaughtering of horses immoral and similar to the slaying of a pet. “Last thing we’re going to do is set up a commercial operation and sell the meat of dogs and cats in other countries. It’s unthinkable.”
While Pacelle said he and his group will sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture for waste-management concerns and the unhealthiness of pharmaceutically treated horse meat, state legislators continue to speculate on the implementation of future horse meat bans.
The Texas Senate committee on agriculture recently discussed the levity of shutting down horse-slaughter locations in Texas. Reopening Texas horse slaughter plans would require the repeal of a law banning the sale of horse meat for human consumption, passed in 1949.
Ren Nance, committee director said “Since the (federal) ban has lifted, I think no one’s surprised Texas and other states are considering changing laws.”
When Congress banned horse slaughter in 2006, funding for horse meat inspections became unavailable. As U.S. plants began to close, the amount of horses exported to Mexico and Canada for slaughter increased.
In November, however, a report from the Government Accountability Office helped restore inspection funding. The report showed that the ban resulted in a 21% drop of price for even the cheapest horses sold at acutions, and caused an increase in abuse and negligence.
Pacelle finds the GAO’s conclusion that the U.S. ban increased horse abuse erroneous, and says that the number of U.S horses slaughtered before and after the ban was a constant 140,000, a number independent of whether the horses were slaughtered nationally or abroad.
Based on another report, Pacelle maintains that the suffering of the horses increased when they were shipped to countries like Mexico and Canada and believes that a ban on exporting horses for the slaughter should be enacted.
General opponents will continue to fight. Said Cynthia Macpherson, Missouri lawyer who has already teamed up with activists, “People are going to be passionate and going to put their heart and soul into trying to stop this.”