For the first time since 2007, horse slaughterhouses might be up and running in the U.S. in as little as a month.
Congress stopped funding for horse meat inspections in 2006, but they lifted the ban in November. But they did not supply the funding to pay for new inspections, which slaughter opponents say might cost taxpayers $3 to $5 million per year.
According to The Argus Leader, Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, said this might create a humane, privately funded slaughterhouse in South Dakota. Christen said sale barns have been rejecting old horses, and more of them are simply being abandoned.
Barbara Beck of Glendale, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Americans Against Horse Slaughter, says horse slaughter is inhumane. "It's not acceptable to us because that's not a good end for a horse,” she told azfamily.com. “Slaughter is a dirty, dirty business.”
According to the International Business Times, PETA opposes slaughtering horses for meat, but says that the reopening of slaughterhouses could reduce animal suffering caused by abandonment. But the Humane Society is threatening protests and legal actions if they become necessary.
The last slaughterhouse in the U.S. closed in 2007 in Illinois. Animal welfare activists warned of massive public outcry anywhere one might reopen. But a federal report from June found that local animal welfare organizations reported an increase in horse neglect and abandonment claims since that time.