Setting the Record Straight on Congress’ Lifting of the Ban on Horse Slaughter
which prevented the slaughter of horses for human consumption for
the past five years.
The issue is understandably a sensitive and emotional one for everyone who loves these majestic animals, but it is important that
the discussion be tempered with the facts.
While Congress has technically lifted the ban, horse processing will not resume anytime in the near term. Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, horses are an amenable species, which means that horse meat cannot be shipped or sold for human consumption without inspection.
To date, there have been no requests that the Department initiate the authorization process for any horse processing operation in the United States. In the two states where horse processing took place prior to the Congressional ban, Illinois and Texas, there are laws in place prohibiting the slaughter of horses.
Even if these laws were changed, any processing facility will still need to satisfy a significant number of requirements, such as obtaining a federal grant of inspection, conducting a hazard analysis, and developing a Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan prior to the processing of any animals.