A third business has met all the statutory and regulatory requirements to require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide inspection services when it begins processing horsemeat for human consumption.
Department of Justice attorneys representing USDA have informed the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico that it may want to expand its temporary restraining order against horse slaughter to include Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, Mo.
That restraining order currently only prevents USDA from providing inspection services to Valley Meat in New Mexico and Responsible Transportation in Iowa, the first two businesses to qualify since a five-year ban on spending federal money on horse slaughter inspections ended in 2012.
Rains Natural Meats is a small meat and poultry slaughter and processing facility with about 5,300 square feet. Built in 1998, it has been a USDA-inspected facility for various meat and poultry processing since it was built, but the business has had difficulties due to the slow economic recovery.
About 175,000 horses from the United States are exported for slaughter each year to Canada and Mexico. New USDA-inspected, horse-slaughter facilities in the United States would export horsemeat for human consumption to areas of the world where there is a demand, mainly Europe and Asia.
Reprinted in part from Food Safety News