U.S. and Canadian representatives met recently to discuss whether or not horses should be be slaughtered for the purpose of human consumption. It may sound crazy to us Americans, but horses are already apart of the French, Belgian, Swiss, Japanese, Chinese and even Canadian cuisine. Would you eat horse meat if it came to a restaurant near you??
A group of representatives from U.S. and Canadian animal science and humane livestock handling organizations, as well as federal and state livestock processing regulatory agencies will convene at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for a discussion entitled “Setting the High Standard for Humane Processing of Horses.” The “processing” part of the equation entails the slaughter and butchery of the animals for the purpose of human consumption.
The panel, which is being held as part of a four day Summit of the Horse includes representatives from American Humane, the Humane Handling and Assessment Tool Project, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The issue at hand has stirred passionate and polar arguments from those who see horse meat – especially that of wild mustangs who are seen by some as an invasive species – as a cheap, viable source of food for hungry Americans, and wild horse advocates who see the slaughter of these animals as cruel and unnecessary.
Horse meat holds a particular taboo in American culture, but is a not uncommon element of French, Belgian, Swiss, Japanese, Chinese and even Canadian cuisine. It’s praised for its leanness and sweetness, and pending the outcome of the summit, might spark a reconsideration of the Restore Our Mustangs Act, passed by the House of Represntatives but awaiting action in the Senate, which prohibits the processing of wild horses or burros for slaughter.