KBR Wild Horse and Burro News

  Texas Bill Threatens Wild Horses
Proposed legislation
will let slaughterhouses resume

Story Date April 24, 2003

By Chris Erlon, Red Rock, TX

The only two slaughter houses left in the U.S. that take horses are in Texas. Last August, the Texas Attorney General decided that these two facilities were violating a fifty year old law that prohibited the sale and transfer of horse meat for human consumption, and ordered the law enforced, temporarily crippling the facilities.

But on April 23 the Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, voted to pass an amendment to the law that allows such sale and transfer to places outside the United States. Since one of the plants services France (and is owned by a French Company), and the other services Belgium (and is owned by a Belgian company), they are about to be back in business. The point of this bill is to save about 150 low wage jobs. There's not even an American company for this to benefit, since both plants are owned by overseas companies.

There are two bills in Congress right now which would ban such practice on a federal level, perhaps voiding this amendment to State law. But for now, I think it's just going to take the governor's signature to get these things going again. Since horses are trucked in from all over, this is not just a Texas issue. If you wish, you can call or fax the Texas governor's office at:

Governor Rick Perry

  • 512-463-1782

  • 512-463-2000

  • 512-463-1849 (FAX)

More information can be found at


As a wild horse mentor and enthusiast, this development is particularly troubling. Our four state district adopts out more BLM horses every year than any district but Eastern States, and the majority of our adoptions are held in Texas. The compliance staff is spread pretty thin, and I know for a fact that horses that are not even touchable are granted title. Market value for these horses is well below meat price. While I'd love to think the only people in Texas who have trouble with their mustangs are the ones who call looking for help, I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

The BLM has a good relationship and understanding with these slaughter houses, but it doesn't prevent the plants from taking in titled animals.

Continue to May, 2003 Updates

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