Horse slaughter plant to open in late summer

A meat processing plant in Missouri that went out of business is being retrofitted for a humane horse processing operation.

Unified Equine Missouri has found a former meat processing plant in Rockville, in Western Missouri’s Bates County that it’s renovating and reequipping for horse processing. Sue Wallis is with Unified Equine, “Fortunately,” she says, “We were able to find a facility that is about the right size for what our experts determined is a good fit for the horse industry, especially an industry that kind of needs to reinvent itself after being — four or five years of being out of business.”

Wallis tells Brownfield Ag News the Rockville building was a USDA certified plant, in a rural area that needs jobs, and in proximity to the greatest numbers of horses to process. A feasibility study ruled out two other options in Missouri and Wallis says the Rockville plant is the right choice. She says it will begin operations by late summer. It will be the first horse slaughter plant to open since Congress lifted a federal ban on the practice late last year.

AUDIO: Sue Wallis (13:00 mp3)

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