July 8, 2011
Next year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will resume the inspection of horses that are trucked commercially, including those headed for slaughter facilities in Canada and Mexico.
In 2007, Congress banned USDA checks on horses in transit to U.S. facilities that butchered horses for meat, effectively shuttering such plants because the meat could no longer be certified as coming from healthy horses. The ban also led to a surplus of older horses, causing prices for them to drop nationwide.
Moreover, it brought a halt to USDA's inspection program for horses being shipped. Driving the restart is USDA's duty to enforce laws on treatment of animals, but there is no chance that the move will lead to the re-opening of slaughter plants in the United States. USDA will hire more inspectors to check on horses in transit.