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Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues

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In 2006, nearly 105,000 horses were slaughtered for human food in two Texas plants and one in Illinois, mainly for European and Asian consumers. The 109th Congress voted to limit the use of FY2006 appropriated funds for such slaughter, but it continued, funded by industry user fees. Debate revolves around the acceptability of horse slaughter, and how to care for and/or humanely dispose of horses if they no longer went for human food. Bills in the 110th Congress to ban horse slaughter include H.R. 503 and S. 311. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court recently ruled that the Texas plants could be prosecuted for violating a 1949 state law barring the sale of horsemeat.