A New Mexico meat plant is aiming to be the first to slaughter horses in the U.S. since 2007.
The plant, owned by Valley Meat company in Roswell, is expected to be online in as soon as three weeks. USDA has said that it has no choice on the matter and will proceed with inspections once the company meets technical requirements and completes inspector training. Valley Meat Company's lawyer expects to employ about a 100 people to process 100 horses daily. The plant will export its horse meat.
USDA last inspected horse meat in 2006 before Congress imposed a ban on the slaughter; the ban lapsed in 2011 and has not been renewed. Last week, four lawmakers introduced legislation to ban horse-killing for human consumption in the U.S. and to prohibit transporting the animals outside the country for slaughter.