Montana horse slaughter house bill moves forward (US)

Cross-posted KPAX Missoula, Montana

HELENA, Mont. (AP) – The Montana House of Representatives is strongly endorsing a bill that aims to pave the way for a horse slaughterhouse in Montana.

Backers say ranchers and those who own horses have been struggling ever since all the slaughterhouses in the country were closed down amid controversy. They say it is far more difficult now to dispose of old, sick or injured animals.

The sponsor is Republican Rep. Ed Butcher, a horse owner from the central Montana farm community of Winifred. He says his bill gives investors assurances that Montana will treat their business fairly if they build in the state.

Opponents argue that a horse slaughterhouse should not be granted special exemptions from environmental and other laws, and should be treated like any factory.

The measure was endorsed 67-33 in the first of 2 scheduled House votes. www.kpax.com >>

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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