Horse Slaughtering Bill Passes the House!

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 04/04/2010 - 5:28pm.

The Missouri House has sent a bill to the Senate that would allow horse slaughtering in Missouri... On a 91-61 vote, the Republican-controlled House passed the legislation Thursday. The legislation seeks to bypass a federal ban on meat inspectors working in horse slaughtering plants by getting processors to pay for the inspections at the state level.

Under the bill, meat processors would pay into a fund to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, which would pass the inspection fees on to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Sponsoring Rep. Jim Viebrock, R-Republic, said USDA would then have a funding source to pay for inspections of horse meat, which is a delicacy in Europe and Asia.

In September 2006, Congress barred any federal funds from being spent by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on inspecting the nation's three remaining horse slaughtering plants in Illinois and Texas -- effectively putting them out of business.

Viebrock has said the congressional ban on horse slaughtering inspections has led to more abuse and neglect of older horses because there is no market to sell them at.

The legislation also includes controversial language that would affirm a farmer's right to raise livestock, fish, game birds and crops without the state imposing undo economic burden on producers.

But there is some question by rice producers about the constitutionality of the language, which was tacked on to the bill in committee.

Viebrock said he would work to have the controversial language removed in the Senate.

"When I filed this bill, I really believed the opposition of this bill would have to do with horse processing," Viebrock said Thursday on the House floor. "It's unfortunate this amendment is weighing this bill down so much. I think we have an opportunity to be leaders in our county and bring back an industry that's going to be a strong economic development tool."

Chad Livengood - April 1, 2010 - source NewsLeader

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 04/04/2010 - 5:28pm.