Congress has just lifted a ban on the slaughter of horses in the United States, which could lead to human consumption of the animals again, the Associated Press reported.
The five-year-old ban was lifted quietly by Congress on Nov. 18, which actually stopped funding for horse meat inspections. Without inspections by the US Department of Agriculture, meat is not allowed to be shipped across state lines, which led to the de facto ban on horse meat, USA Today reported.
The ban was put into place in 2006 after efforts to pass outright bans on horse slaughter failed in the US, the AP reported. The ban was lifted in a spending bill signed by President Obama in hopes to keep the government above water until mid-December.
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While there is no US market for horse meat, it is seen as a delicacy overseas in some European and Asian countries, USA Today reported.
While some human-rights organizations decried the provision, PETA has applauded the move, Nashville’s News Channel 5 reported. Many agreed that putting the industry out of business did more harm than good. A PETA spokeswoman said that it is actually more inhumane to ship horses to other countries.
"What we saw were horses, often aging or unwanted horses, being shipped long distances to Mexico and Canada, for horse slaughter markets there," said Tom Womack, with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, News Channel 5 reported.
It was reported that horses that weren’t shipped over borders were left in bad condition in farms across Tennessee and some were even dumped onto state owned land to roam free, News Channel 5 reported.
However, PETA would like to see an overall ban of horse slaughter in the US and exporting horses to other countries. There is currently a bill in congress currently that could do just that, News Channel 5 reported.
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