Horses not for courses

The controversial issue of eating horses has been made the subject of a US bill that may outlaw the practise in America.

The US media has reported that the House of Representatives voted 263 to 146 on 7 September to ban the slaughter of horses for food. A different version of the bill will now pass to the US Senate to be considered. If passed there, it will have to pass through a committee to resolve any differences before any law can be passed by the White House.

There are three horse abattoirs in America run by Belgian and Dutch companies. Horsemeat is not eaten in America so much of the meat is exported to Asia and Europe and the rest is sold to zoos as animal feed.

The bill follows a persistent campaign by animal welfare groups including the Humane Society of the United States who claim slaughtering horses is cruel. Those opposing the bill argue that horses are treated the same as any other livestock, and it is an humane way to dispose of old or unwanted horses.

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