Officials approved the first domestic horse slaughterhouse in the United States this past Friday since congress banned the practice of slaughtering horses seven years ago, reports Associated Press.
Valley Meat out of Roswell, New Mexico was issued the first license shortly after filing a lawsuit against the USDA, accusing it of intentionally trying to delay processing the permit, because the Obama Administration opposes horse slaughter practices. In a statement, Valley Meat announced that they planned on hiring up to 100 new employees to assure that they practice safe, humane, and legally compliant practices.
As shocking as this might come for United States citizens, horsemeat is often in demand, and is consumed frequently abroad. Though horses are much leaner, and their diets more nutritious, a study released in 2002 in the Journal of Applied Ecology suggests that horses were once as popular to consume as cattle. With it’s lean, low-fat qualities, it’s no wonder that it is becoming quickly demanded in the United States as people become more conscious of how many calories they are consuming.