TULSA, Okla. — Horses could soon be butchered in the United States for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month.
Slaughter opponents pushed a measure cutting off funding for horse meat inspections through Congress in 2006 after other efforts to pass outright bans on horse slaughter failed. Congress lifted the ban in a spending bill signed into law Nov. 18 to keep the government afloat until mid December. But it did not allocate any new money to horse meat inspections. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to find the money in its existing budget, which is expected to see more cuts this year.