Post by Allison Aubrey, The Salt at NPR Food (1/17/14)
When a federal ban on slaughtering horses to produce horse meat was lifted several years back, ranchers including Rick De Los Santos, a New Mexico rancher and owner of Valley Meat Co., stepped up to start operations with an aim to export the meat.
But, as we've reported, his plans for a horse meat slaughterhouse have hit major roadblocks. There have been lawsuits to stop him and others trying to get into the business. And plenty of stories about the ick factor evoked by the image of butchering a beautiful thoroughbred.
Now, given a bit of language written into the omnibus spending bill that was approved by the Senate on Thursday night, it's seeming more certain that there will be no horse slaughtering on U.S. soil in the foreseeable future. The House already approved the spending measure, which now heads to President Obama for his signature.
The provision bans the funding of U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections at horse slaughter plants. And without inspections, slaughterhouses can't be in business. Game over.