Saturday, January 24, 2009

Plant may slaughter horses under North Dakota bill

North Dakota Bill To Study Impact of Equine Slaughter Facility

North Dakota legislators are advancing a plan that would allow the nation's only equine slaughter facility to be built in that state, according to an article on

According to the article, Rep. Rod Froelich, D-Selfridge, and Sen. Joe Miller, R-Park River, sponsored House Bill 1496, which would direct the state's commerce department to conduct a $100,000 study to see if a privately owned horse slaughterhouse would be viable in that state.

Since 2006 horse slaughter has not been legal throughout the United States due to a removal of federal meat inspectors from slaughter facilities. There is national legislation being considered that would permanently ban equine slaughter in the United States.

Comments from locals in the article were in support of the bill due to the increased number of unwanted horses in the area and the United States.


Plant may slaughter horses under North Dakota bill

By: Kim Winnegge , INFORUM

A plan being advanced in the North Dakota Legislature likely will upset some horse enthusiasts and animal rights activists.

Two state legislators are sponsoring a bill that could lead to construction of the nation’s only horse slaughterhouse in North Dakota.

Rep. Rod Froelich, D-Selfridge, and Sen. Joe Miller, R-Park River, are sponsoring House Bill 1496, which would direct the Commerce Department to conduct a $100,000 study to see if a privately owned horse slaughterhouse is viable in North Dakota.

“Lots of constituents were begging us to do this, saying give us an alternative to what we have now, which is nothing,” Froelich said.

The study would assess the cost of construction, the nature and scope of markets the plant could sell to, and if such a project could be accomplished under current regulations, according to a news release.

In 2006, the U.S. House passed the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which banned slaughtering horses. It died in the Senate.

Froelich said the $100,000 cost was just a figure they came up with to highlight that there would be a financial piece to the puzzle.

“Equine processing facilities provide a valuable resource for those who have animals that are no longer needed for recreational, farm or racing uses,” Froelich said in a news release announcing the proposed study.

The study would be conducted during the 2009 to 2011 interim.

Legislators will have a chance to help the state become the only one to offer these services, Miller said.

Miller said the last two “equine processing facilities” in Texas and Illinois closed in 2007, leaving open the U.S. market for horse slaughtering.

“They were shut down due to activists in the area,” Miller said. “(They provided) false or circumstantial information, misconstruing what really goes on.”

Calls to several animal rights groups for comment went unanswered Friday.

North Dakota horses ready for rendering now have to be shipped to Mexico or Canada, Miller said, which is costly.

A rendered horse can provide horse meat, gelatin, glue, pet food and leather products, Miller said.

Froelich said the legislation will help provide another economic resource for North Dakota.

“We have a lot of equine that are being abandoned now, not taken care of,” he said. “We have to find someplace for animals to be taken.”

Miller said the point of the proposed legislation is to humanely dispose of those animals that have “worn out their usefulness.”

“We’re going to get to a point where horses will be running around like deer,” he said. “That’s something we need to control.”


  1. We certainly don't want another slaughter house opening in the US. We've managed to shut them all down. Every state which has had a slaughter house in their state has passed state laws to be sure they stay closed. Both Texas and Illinois went through this.

    We need to pass HR 503 to end horse slaughter and transport!

  2. There is no such thing as "humane slaughter". Euthanasia by a vet is the only humane way to give a horse a decent end to a life of service afer "they are worn out". Slaughtering horses for human consumption is nothing more than greed for making lots of money. If people would breed responisibly and take care of their horses their whole lives there would be no need for slaughter houses. Do you know what really goes on in a slaughter house? The public does NOT know the abuse and horrors that horses endured right here in the US at the slaughter houses. To be informed of what readdly happens you need to look at the pictures from the USDA that Animal Angels revealed. After you look at those then you will change you mind about slaughter being humane. Pat Donley, Wyoming

  3. Senator Miller said what I feared. Since there hasn't been a bill banning horse slaughter that has been passed by both houses and enacted into law, this opens up the possibility of another horse slaughter facility opening in the United States.

    Representative Frolich was totally wrong when he mentioned slaughter as a viable option for recreational, farm and racing horses that are no longer needed.

    Horses can be re-trained. They can be used in areas to further assist humans.

    Senator Miller called slaughter humane. It is not. From Holding Facility, through tortorous transports (with no food or water) and finally a horrendous ending at the slaughter house, this practice is anything but humane.

    Senator Miller also spoke about horses running around the countryside like deer. This is not the case now, and with responsible breeding practices it won't be in the future.

    Please call for an end to Horse Slaughter and transport by contacting your representative to support and vote FOR HR503, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 and HR 305, The Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009.


  4. I can't believe they would try this again. It seems to me we have entertained this notion in the past and it was met with quite a bit of public resistance. If it involves taxpayer money, it will never work.


  5. This is about the dumbest waste of money I have seen in a long time! Why not give the money for a low cost euthanasia clinic or low cost gelding program.
    "Running around like deer" just like we are going to be over run by buzzards right?!?
    What a bunch of horse pucky!
    HR 503 will pass this year and they will have wasted all the money they could have done some good with, but of course slaughter has never been about the welfare of horses, it has always been, and always will be, a business of demand of the rich, for us to supply, to satisfy mans greed!
    Take that $100,000 add to it fees that could be obtained by having breeders pay for a license to breed their mare, then we will see horse population decline and the revenue to go toward a real solution!

  6. I need not comment other than to post this, anyone pro-slaughter after this, is only pro-slaughter because there is something in it for them!
    Look for yourselves...