Well, this is certainly curious timing.
From the New York Times, a report that the U.S.D.A. May Approve Horse Slaughtering:
The United States Department of Agriculture is likely to approve a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico in the next two months, which would allow equine meat suitable for human consumption to be produced in the United States for the first time since 2007.
Horse meat cannot be processed for human consumption in the United States without inspection by the U.S.D.A., so horses destined for that purpose have been shipped to places like Mexico and Canada for slaughter.
Just one week ago, I predicted the horse meat scandal would soon spread to the United States. I can’t say I thought we would invite it in. Then again, I guess someone’s got to supply Ikea and Taco Bell.
That said, I’ve been on board with an unregulated approach to horse slaughter since 2007, soon after the horse meat ban went into effect:
While equine-advocacy groups celebrated the bill’s passage, its effects have ironically hurt horses more than helped… When the last American horse slaughterhouses were shuttered in 2007, the industry simply moved from the west of the United States, across a newly-erected barrier of the physical sort, into Mexico. The USDA estimates that nearly 50,000 horses were shipped south in 2007, where standards for pain-mitigation during slaughter are decidedly more lax. A bill under consideration that would end the legal export of horses for slaughter is nothing but a quick-fix and fails to address reasons why horse-owners sell them south in the first place – the slaughter ban.
Certainly, banning foods is not foreign to Americans. The production of foie gras is illegal in Chicago and soon will be in California. Whale meat is banned by international agreement for a mixture of practical and ethical reasons. But [until] someone is shoveling Black Beauty onto the plate of unwilling Americans, there is no justification to codify the distaste of the many for dubious benefit.
Congress finally obliged in 2011, removing the horse slaughter ban from an omnibus spending act, and opening the door to a resumption of USDA inspection and the legal production of horsemeat.
But not everyone is on board with renewed regulatory regime — for instance, our President:
Justin DeJong, a spokesman for the agriculture department, said that… the Obama administration was urging Congress to reinstate an effective ban on the production of horse meat for human consumption that lapsed in 2011.
Read the Obama administration’s position carefully: it wants to reinstate the effective ban on human consumption. Which means he would be perfectly fine with the production of horsemeat for non-human consumption:
The plant, in Roswell, N.M., is owned by Valley Meat Company, which sued the U.S.D.A. and its Food Safety and Inspection Service last fall over the lack of inspection services for horses going to slaughter.
Holy shit, you guys.
I don’t want to give myself too much credit, but I do want to make sure everyone notes the genius of using the Galactic Senate for a post about Congress and aliens.