USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said that unless Congress reinstates a ban on horse slaughter, a proposed horse meat plant in New Mexico will open soon. In an interview with the Associated Press, Vilsack said that the USDA re-inspected the Valley Meat Co. plant in southern New Mexico last week and is making sure the process is handled properly to re-open the plant.
"We are going to do this, and I would imagine that it would be done relatively soon," Vilsack said. "It will open unless Congress restores the ban on horse slaughter that they had in place. If that doesn't happen, then we are duty-bound to do what needs to be done to allow that plant to begin processing."
Congress eliminated funding for inspection of horse slaughter plants but restored the funding in 2011. The Obama Administration's recent budget proposal would eliminate that funding again, effectively reinstating the horse slaughter ban.
Source: Associated Press, NBC News