Horse meat may soon once again become available in the United States after a five-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections was quietly lifted by Congress. Horse slaughterhouses could be up and running as early as January.
In the midst of the fiscal tug-of-war in the nation's capital, Congress lifted the ban inside a spending bill to keep the U.S. government afloat. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law Nov. 18. The last U.S. slaughterhouse that butchered horses closed in Illinois five years ago, but the ban also led to an increased number of horses being shipped to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered.
A report in today's Times News said many Idaho horse trainers and owners hope the ban's removal will raise the value of horses.
"At the same time," said the report, "some horse rescue shelters are worried that the return of the U.S. slaughterhouse as a viable option to get rid of unwanted horses will only increase the amount of unnecessary breeding and irresponsible horse ownership."
The report said Idaho may be considered an ideal spot for a slaughterhouse "because it is agriculturally based and contains high amounts of unwanted horses."