USDA Defies Congressional Ban on Horse Slaughter
from the Houston Chronicle, Feb. 11
"...WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's leading horse protection nonprofit, the American Horse Defense Fund, is outraged that the USDA and three European-owned horse slaughter plants in the US have thwarted the will of Congress and the American people by defying a congressional directive to stop horse slaughter in the U.S. during 2006. On October 26, 2005 Congress overwhelmingly passed an amendment that was meant to halt the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for federal inspections on horses or horse meat at foreignowned slaughter plants in the US, effectively shutting the plants down.
The amendment would have saved an estimated 30,000 horses from a cruel death at US slaughterhouses in 2006. It would also have opened the door to permanently ending the dangerous and cruel horse slaughter industry in the U.S. However, the amendment, due to take effect on March 10, 2006, could be destroyed by a final rule issued by USDA allowing horse slaughter to continue under a fee-for-service horse meat inspection system. The slaughter plants would pay an estimated $350,000 annually to private inspectors that would replace the required federal USDA horse and horse meat inspectors. The USDA has provided for a public comment period on this action until March 9th 2006.
...The American Horse Defense Fund (AHDF) and animal welfare groups across the country are asking the American public to contact the USDA before March 9th and ask that they honor the will of Congress by withdrawing regulations that would permit the US slaughterhouses to bring in fee-for-service inspectors. Comments can be mailed to: Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 102 Cotton Annex, Washington, DC 20250 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org before March 9..."