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Discussion Starter #1
Interesting article. Wyoming is going to legislate the slaughter of horses for human consumption. I think it makes good economic sense, although I know many of you will disagree.

Here's the article:

Wyoming Governor Enacts Legislation To Initiate Horse Slaughter

Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal signed HB 122 into law March 9. The law provides the Wyoming Board of Livestock with three options to deal with abandoned, stray, feral or abused animals which enter into their jurisdiction. The Board may take the animal to public sale, which was the only option prior to this legislation, or may now send the animal to slaughter or destroy the animal.

The Board of Livestock is working in conjunction with The United Organizations of the Horse to execute this law.

“Wyoming has a huge abandoned horse problem. There has been a tripling in the number of abandoned horses every year for the past three years,” said Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state representative and executive director of the UOH.

“Previously the BOL put these animals up for public sale. Now, the market is so saturated; this is no longer an option. No one wants these animals. The BOL recently received $1 for a group of 237 horses, and they were happy to get it. The expense of keeping these animals is a considerable burden,” Wallis continued.

“If the BOL chooses the slaughter option, they may provide the meat to state institutions or [non-profit organizations] at their cost or sell the meat at market price.”

There is no federal law against horse slaughter. The only caveat to this is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not authorized to inspect horsemeat. This means that state inspection services have to inspect the meat, which is how much of meat produced in the United States is inspected. State inspection standards must be equivalent to or more stringent than FDA standards.

Thus, horsemeat produced in Wyoming may be used for human consumption and will most likely be used at prisons or donated to the needy. If the meat is sold across state lines, it cannot be used for human consumption. This meat would most likely be sold to zoos.

“This is definitely going to happen. We are dedicated to showing the world that this is the best way of dealing with the problem,” said Wallis. “If you have a horse that no one wants and that cannot be supported, what better option is there? Why waste a valuable resource?

“The United Organizations of the Horse is working with Dr. Temple Grandin to develop protocol for humane horse slaughter. Temple is renowned for transforming the slaughter industry for cattle and hogs and will design similar improvements for horses,” she continued.
 

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“This is definitely going to happen. We are dedicated to showing the world that this is the best way of dealing with the problem,” said Wallis. “If you have a horse that no one wants and that cannot be supported, what better option is there? Why waste a valuable resource?
Totally love this part. Very smart people! Glad to see someone is thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, and I'm glad to see they're going to be working with Dr. Grandin on making the slaughter plants more humane for horses.
 

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One down 49 to go!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kevin, I really do wonder if this is going to cause a domino effect and other states will get on board with Wyoming.

Since horse slaughter is a state regulated issue and not a federal one, it's not inconceivable to me that once this gathers steam, other states will follow.

I'm sure there's more than one state government watching to see how successful Wyoming will be with this.
 

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I'll bet Montana follows and I hope that Utah will.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's what I was thinking, too.

Montana for sure, Utah probably, and maybe even Idaho.

Pretty much every state that makes up 'Big Sky Country' I can see getting on board with this. They're long on logical thinking, and short on emotional clap-trap. Making a living outdoors does that to people.
 

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I am sure my closed minded state (NY) will never follow suit. Sigh!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I live in Virginia. Don't know if they'll get on board or not. Our governor's a pretty level headed guy, as a state we like to hunt, and a lot of our industry is cattle and crops, so it could go either way.

The east coast tends to have as many fruits and nuts as the west coast, unfortunately. Doesn't help that we have Washington D.C. on our doorsteps, either! :wink:
 

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Yes, yes, yes! Finally! :D Big thumbs up for Wyoming!


I'm not too sure that Georgia will follow... Could go either way, I suppose. They're even split over the slaughter thing.
 

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Good news. Maybe that will help with all the problems we have now because of the prior bans.
 

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oh good! if its a humane way to slaughter them then its so much better for everybody involved then just abandoning the horses!
 

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[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]South Dakota is following WY!

South Dakota's Legislature Passes Strongly Worded Resolution Calling on Congress and the Federal Government to Reinstate USDA Inspection of Horse Meat
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[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]The only thing preventing investment and jobs creation in a number of states is the inability to inspect horse meat for interstate and export purposes.
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[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]PIERRE - South Dakota State Senator Frank Kloucek announced today that a concurrent resolution calling on Congress to repeal roadblocks to the humane slaughter of horses, and the inspection of horse meat has passed by an overwhelming majority with only three no votes. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]Just a few short years ago the equine industry was a $1.2 Billion dollar industry that supported some 460,000 direct full-time jobs working with horses every day, and another 1,600,000 indirect jobs. All indications are that the equine industry will have been effectively downsized by at least 50% in very short order, and have suffered the loss of at least 500,000 jobs.
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[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]Most of this can be laid squarely in the lap of the animal rights driven effort that led to the closure of the last U.S. horse processing plants in 2007. While some will claim that all of this economic distress is the result of the current nationwide situation, others will point out that the horse industry survived the economic downturn of the 1980s relatively intact.
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[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]Worst of all, the horses are suffering. The website, http://amillionhorses.com, has been documenting every media report of abandoned, neglected, and abused horses since the early 1990s and the increase in suffering is absolutely horrific. There was a 400% increase in stories detailing neglect and abandonment of horses from 2008 to 2009. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif] A young, starving feral horse found on the Navajo Nation with its hind end eaten by wild dogs while still alive. It had to be euthanized.
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[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]Members and supporters of the United Organizations of the Horse wholeheartedly believe that the key to rejuvenating the entire equine industry, and stopping the suffering of horses, is allowing for the option of a quick, humane death for unneeded horses, and the utilization of the healthy, wholesome meat by those who choose to do so.
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[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]There is a thriving worldwide market for horse meat. As was recently noted by Claude Bouvary, the owner of Bouvary Exports in Canada, one of the leading purveyors of horse meat worldwide, "Around the world today, there are as many meals of horse meat served every day, as there are McDonald's hamburgers."
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[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]There is a burgeoning underground interest in horse meat in the United States, and for good reason, the meat is very high in protein, very low in fat, and delicious. Gourmet chefs as well as those who are interested in wholesome, healthy meats from sustainable sources and well cared for animals are importing the meat. Others are obtaining it from local sources where that is legal.

If you would like to sign a petition to Oppose the criminalization of horse meat here is the link:
http://www.rallycongress.com/suppor...pose-criminalizing-horse-meat/#comment-269377
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Discussion Starter #16
It looks like all it took was one state to start the ball rolling.

I'm not surprised SD is right behind WY in this. I'd be surprised if MT, UT, ND, and ID also didn't fall in line fairly shortly.

The eastern states may take longer, but there is a real need to do something about the abused, neglected, and abandoned horses in this country.

The rescues are full to bursting, and those of us who have horses know what our financial capabilities are concerning adding more. I have my quota; I can't acquire any more without seriously jeopardizing the health and well being of the animals already in my care, as well as my finances.

Arguments to the contrary, there are unwanted horses and the numbers increase every day. This has now reached crisis level, and I applaud WY and SD for realizing this and taking action. Especially since it's not going to be popular with a certain subset of American society.
 

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ok, so i haven't done any RESEARCH regarding this issue... if it's regulated at state level, then how the heck did they close the plants down in the first place?

but kudos! glad to see this happening now.
 

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The federal government wouldn't let USDA inspectors go to the plants. What usually happens is that the government pays the salary of the inspectors and the plant pays any overtime. When the gov quit paying the salary the plants paid it all then all the inspectors were pulled out and the plants had to close because the meat had to be federally inspected to be exported.

At least that's how I understand it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Because the inspectors were Federal government, and the USDA stated that they weren't going to allow their inspectors on site. The plants would had to have paid private inspectors, but the costs were apparently too prohibitive.

Don't know how they're going to get around that if the USDA is still playing hard ball, but I'm thinking they might be on board with the plan. However, states can regulate within their own borders whether or not they sell/give away any type of meat.

There was never a ban on equine slaughter nationwide, just a law stating that it couldn't be sold for human consumption. I see that WY is taking the tack that they won't be selling it for human consumption, but giving it away. That's perfectly legal. They'll be selling it for non-human consumption though, which is also perfectly legal.

There are only several states that have banned within their own borders the human consumption of horse meat. California is one, and I'm not sure of the others.

States have their own laws and rights and as long as something doesn't conflict with Federal law, that's the way it was set up to work. The Civil War was fought over States' rights, not slavery. Slavery was just one of the rights the southern states wanted to keep, but they lost and Federal law making slavery illegal went into effect.

With Dr. Grandin on board helping to make the slaughter plants more humane for equine processing, I'm very pleased. My biggest concerns weren't that the horses were going to slaughter, just that the process needed to be species-specific.

mls, even if every state doesn't have an open slaughter plant, at least they'll be closer than Canada and Mexico. Plus, we have the added benefit of now being able to regulate how the horses are cared for before they're processed.
 
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