The southern New Mexico plant that has been fighting for more than a year for permission to slaughter horses will open soon, unless Congress reinstates a ban on the practice, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said April 30.
With a horse meat controversy raging in Europe, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is likely to approve a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico in the next two months - making it the first time since 2007 that equine meat suitable for human consumption will be produced in the United States.
Legislators have given final approval to spending $50,000 in state funds to study building a horse slaughter plant in the state.
The House took final action Thursday on House Bill 1496, which passed 86-5
The $50,000 was appropriated to the state Department of Commerce, which is to determine whether a horse slaughter plant is feasible, what the costs would be of constructing a new plant or converting an existing facility, how it could be financed.
By Janell Cole, N.D. Capitol Bureau
April 17, 2009
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