Horses still can be killed for food

San Francisco Chronicle

04/03/06

For years, horse advocates have tried to shut three foreign-owned plants in the United States that slaughter horses and ship the meat to France, Belgium, Italy and Japan, where it is served in restaurants as a delicacy. Congress amended an agriculture spending bill last fall to ban using taxpayer funds to inspect horse meat, which would stop horse slaughter in the United States because federal law requires the inspection of all meat. But the Department of Agriculture, lobbied by the owners of the plants and their allies in Congress and in the horse and cattle industries, issued new rules last month allowing the plants to keep operating by paying the $350,000 annual cost of the inspections. Animal welfare groups and the legislation's backers in Congress were stunned by the administration's reversal...

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