Horse slaughtering ban lifted

A few weeks ago, President Obama signed into law a spending bill that lifted a five-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections.

It didn't allocate new money to pay for those inspections, but it did allow horse slaughterhouses to re-open for business.

Congress lifted the ban, but there's still state law.

In Texas, you can't slaughter horses, but that doesn't mean our congressman wasn't all for it.

Now that the ban is lifted, Panhandle Congressman Mac Thornberry says there's a chance slaughter houses will soon be processing horse meat.

"I think there's a chance, it was only in 2006 that congress stopped funding inspectors for the horse plants, and this bill just repeals that provision."

While some people feel the ban was a good thing, others feel the ban only made it worse for horses that were getting older or were injured.

"Since this ban went into effect there are many, many more horses that are being turned out, that are being starved, and are suffering more abuse than they ever have been before."

That was happening mainly, because most farmers or ranchers couldn't afford to have their horses euthanized properly.

"Not everybody can call the vet out pay for the euthanasia fee, dig the hole on their property, sometimes that's not even allowed on the property that they're occupying and cover the horse up, that's all very expensive," said Hope Vet Clinic Owner/ Manager, Sarah Faulkner. "It's about time they changed it back."

There has been talk of animal rights groups protesting any slaughter houses that may pop up in the states that allow them.

"You've got a number of people who have not been around horses and therefore as I say, maybe with best of intentions, don't really understand the effects of what this ban has done,"said Thornberry. "All of us that have spent time around horses, I think, fully understand how much worse it's gotten."

The last known slaughter house that butchered horses closed in Illinois in 2007.

Thornberry also said there needs to be a more humane way to deal with unwanted horses than turning them out on the street, which too many people were doing.