In a decision that has outraged animal lovers everywhere, the ban prohibiting horse slaughter has been lifted, and federal funds for horse meat inspection by the USDA will now be available. As cited by the ASPCA, this decision will benefit foreign markets, as horse meat is not eaten by Americans (at least not currently or legally). An article by the Christian Science Monitor breaks down what this means:
A Department of Agriculture bill, signed into law Nov. 18, reinstates federal funding for USDA inspection of horse meat intended for human consumption, which Congress had withheld since 2006. That de facto ban on horse slaughter has now come to an end, to the outrage of the animal rights community, amid reports that US horse owners were simply shipping their animals to Mexico and Canada or slaughter and processing.
Some feel that this bill will be a good thing, and create more humane conditions for which horses are slaughtered, but the animal rights community worries that this will motivate a surge in horse slaughterhouses and horse meat production, which could disturb the population of wild horses, or lead to horses kept in conditions similar to those of factory farms. Other support believes that this is a positive action due to the amount of horses abandoned in the poor economy. The Monitor states that “Before the ban, the horse slaughter business generated some $65 million in revenues a year.”
For those interested in taking a stand on this issue, the ASPCA has developed a signature page to contact legislators to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011.