My last post had a few questions about the issue of horse slaughter. Calm, Forward, Straight posted especially insightful answers and she said I could share them. I think she has a great idea about contacting your local congressperson.
The main markets for horse meat are Europe and Japan, although it is also served in Canada. The meat is often misrepresented as being from wild free ranging mustangs, and touted for it's healthfulness. The reality is that bute, banamine, wormers and most other horse meds are explicitly labeled "not for use in horses meant for human consumption".
The horses aren't raised for meat per se, it has just become a convenience for folks who can't be bothered to humanely euthanize, or to be responsible for horses that are no longer "useful"...
Horse slaughter is not actually illegal, but horses began being transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter after the last American slaughter house closed several years ago. You do not want to know how they kill the poor horses who end up in Mexico.
The three slaughter houses that operated in the USA until recently were owned by foreign companies, Belgian I believe, and there is documentation ( I have seen the tax records) that they paid next to no taxes here.
Hopefully not too much information... I used to be the NC leader for Americans Against Horse Slaughter. We were trying for years to pass legislation that would outlaw the transport of horses across the borders for slaughter.
While the slaughter plants closed, in part due to the inspection issue, there is no legislation that I know of actually prohibiting horse slaughter. Just hoops the plants had to jump through regarding inspections which affected profitability.
Once there was no facility left in the US to continue slaughtering, horses began being double deckered across the Mexican and Canadian borders to their slaughterhouses.
The next strategy to end the slaughter of american horses was to get the transport across the borders outlawed, under an anti animal cruelty act. This legislation could never pass both houses - bogged down by obstructionist agriculture lobby $$$$.
My understanding is that a couple of pro-slaughter congressmen quietly added the plant inspection funding language to the current ag appropriations bill which is one of the very exasperating ways legislation is handled in congress.
As long as the anti-slaughter legislation gets passed - the funding language in the ag bill won't matter.
Call / fax / email your congressperson telling them you want their support for Senate bill S. 1176 and House bill H.R. 2966. Go to http://www.house.gov/ and click on the Bills and Reports tab to read the text of the bills.