Congress has released the details of their budget for the 2014 fiscal year, and the year is looking good for horses. The legislation puts a stop to all horse slaughter on U.S. soil -- it is illegal for slaughterhouses to operate without inspection so if there are no inspections, there are no slaughterhouses. The news comes in the wake of several publicized lawsuits aimed at delaying slaughterhouses from opening in New Mexico and Missouri.
Opponents of horse slaughter like the Animal Welfare Institute and the ASPCA have applauded the bill, and Wayne Pacelle, President of The Humane Society of the United States called it an "inhumane, disreputable" industry.
According to the AP, the decision is the result of support high up in government:
Animal rights groups and the Obama administration have been lobbying for the funding cut, as well as outright bans on horse slaughter in the United States. Congress cut funding for inspections at horse slaughterhouses in 2006, but reinstated the funding in 2011, four years after the last of the domestic plants closed.
Since that reinstatement, a New Mexico company called Valley Meat Co. has been itching to restart the horse slaughter business. But lawsuits, spearheaded by Attorney General Gary King, have thwarted the company, winning a temporary restraining order that shuttered the plant for the time being. On Friday, a judge will decide whether Valley Meat Co. can open -- though, if Congress' bill is approved, it looks like that won't matter very much. The budget bill is up for vote in Congress this week.