Federal Lawmakers Seek to Ban Horse Export for Processing
Federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have pulled together to draft a bill banning export of horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada, as well as the sale of horsemeat derived from domestic horses to international vendors.
The bills were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Patrick Meehan (Pa.) and Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) and in the U.S. Senate by Mary Landrieu (La.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) as the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013. Legislators say the basis for their concern is the presence of phenylbutazone and other drugs in most American horses that could be harmful if ingested by humans.
The measures came in response to a request by New Mexico businessman Rick De Los Santos to place USDA personnel at his Valley Meat Company for inspections to allow the plant to begin processing horsemeat. Blair Dunn, attorney for De Los Santos, said that if passed, the bills would be detrimental to horses as well as to his client.
“It puts into the mix another 200,000 horses (currently exported from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada for processing annually) that we don't know what to do with,” Dunn told The Horse.
Read more at The Horse