Cross-posted from the Philadelphia Inquirer at Philly.com
WRITTEN BY AMY WORDEN
With signs suggesting that the federal government will give the green light to the opening of the nation’s first horse slaughter plant since 2007, U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., PA) is heading to Philadelphia to urge fellow lawmakers to pass his bill banning the killing of horses for human consumption.
Meehan is expected to join representatives from animal welfare organizations Friday afternoon at the headquarters of the newly-revived Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Unit
The slaughter plant, slated to open in Roswell, New Mexico pending approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The owners of plant, Valley Meat Products, have sued the USDA, saying the agency is dragging its heels on permits.
This is the company, by the way, that employed a man who shot a horse while on camera as a warning to animal rights activists. The man, Tim Sappington, was fired but was not charged with animal cruelty. (Graphic video posted here on Huffington Post.)
Meehan led a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from both the House and the Senate last month to introduce H.R. 1094, the SAFE Act, which bans horse slaughter for human consumption and prohibits the transportation of horses for purposes of consumption. Currently thousands of U.S. horses are shipped to plants in Mexico and Canada every month to be slaughtered for meat sold in Japan and Europe.
The Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Unit has partnered with Last Chance Ranch to rescue horses from potential slaughter. Horses threatened by slaughter are adopted by the mounted unit and receive training and veterinary care during their service with the police department, Meehan said in a press release. Read more >>