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Appropriations measure nixes funding for horse slaughter inspection

The appropriations measure passed by Congress this week includes language defunding government inspections of horse slaughter facilities.

Sue Wallis, who chairs the Equine Business Association, tells Brownfield she’s disappointed.

“It is a very sad and frustrating day for the welfare of horses, for the horse business, for agriculture in general and for, quite frankly, the environmental condition of rangelands,” said Wallis, taking a break Friday from state legislative meetings in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she serves that state as a lawmaker.

Meanwhile, the appropriations provision was applauded by animal welfare activist groups, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States.

Similar spending prohibitions were included each year from 2005 to 2010, but not in the 2012 budget, which paved the way for the return of U.S. horse slaughter for human consumption.

Although several applications to open horse slaughter facilities were filed with the USDA in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa, none have begun operating.

The bi-partisan-sponsored provision to withhold horse slaughter inspection funding was approved by both the House and Senate Ag Appropriations Committees.

AUDIO: Sue Wallis (9 min. MP3)

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