An effort to ban horse slaughter nationwide is picking up steam in Congress.
After a five-year hiatus, in 2011 processing horse meat was once again allowed in the United States. But the ban may be coming back. The House Appropriations Committee recently voted to cut funding from government horse-meat inspectors in next year's Agricultural Appropriations bill.
Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran, the bill's sponsor, says the idea is simple. "You can't sell meat unless you inspect it. And if we don't allow them to inspect it, it can't be sold, and so it—we shut down the industry."
Moran says banning horse production goes beyond respect for creatures considered iconic here in the states. "I don't think the American taxpayers want millions of dollars spent on inspecting horse meat only for export to other countries. It's their tax money."
Proponents of domestic horse slaughter argue that when the ban was in place, horses were shipped overseas to be slaughtered in plants with inhumane conditions.