Developing a horse slaughter facility in Nebraska is one bill that goes before the state legislature’s Agriculture Committee today in Lincoln during an interim hearing. Senator Cap Dierks of Ewing is the sponsor and says he wants to at least start a discussion.
Dierks says he’s just trying to find out what the status is nationwide and where everything stands in terms of legal issues. Federal laws forbid horse slaughter operations, a ban that was pushed by animal rights groups. Dierks says Montana has passed legislation to build such a plant. That state’s governor vetoed the measure but the house and senate overrode the veto.
He says opponents to horse slaughter are not doing the animals any favors. Dierks says: “Thousands of horses have been turned out on some of that range land out west and they’re starving. There’s nothing for them to eat. You take domesticated horses and put them in with wild horses, they just don’t last. The wild horses kill them. It’s a very tragic thing. We need to find some way to do a humane slaughter.”
Dierks says he doesn’t think any state money would be necessary in any future horse slaughter plant. He says it would work financially if a few horse producers work together on the project perhaps by renovating an existing vacant cattle slaughter plant.
Federal lawmakers are considering legislation that would prevent the sale, transport and slaughter of horses for human consumption. State lawmakers in both North and South Dakota have okayed studies to determine whether horse-processing facilities would be viable.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton