Horse Meat May Pop Up on Menus

Congress voted to allow funding for horse meat inspection

Looks like Black Beauty could be your next meal. According to the AP, "Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month."

The lack of funding basically closed all horse slaughterhouses, and the last horse slaughterhouse shut in 2007 in Illinois. Animal activists promise outrage and protests if another opens up, but surprisingly, PETA (somewhat) supports the lift on the ban, saying without the ban, horses suffer more when they're shipped to Canada and Mexico.

"To reduce horses’ suffering, there must be a ban on exports of live horses together with a ban on slaughter in the U.S., or it doesn’t work, never did, never will," their web site says.

Some horse rescuers claim that lifting the ban will also help reduce the amount of animal abuse and neglect. And of course, others are very interested in the business.

"If one plant came open in two weeks, I'd have enough money to fund it. I've got people who will put up $100,000," said Dave Duquette, president of the pro-slaughter nonprofit United Horsemen.

Slaughtering a horse for human consumption is illegal in states like California and Illinois; other states strictly regulate the selling of horse meat. Sources say most meat will probably be sold overseas, where other cultures eat horse meat regularly (like horse ice cream, apparently).

Given the Seabiscuits of American movies and My Little Pony, it would probably be more difficult selling horse meat domestically.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.