1. Primer for a Touchy Subject
I know this is a touchy subject and have heard all sorts of arguments for and against the topic of horse slaughter. One common misconception about the “ban” on horse slaughter in the United States was that the practice was altogether banned — that is not the case. The funding to support the inspection of horse slaughter is what hit the chopping block, thereby indirectly stopping the practice.
2. Stepping Back a Few Decades
Our Meats Laboratory is about 50 years old and since then has become a repository for all sorts of meat information. Recently I found a 25 ruble note from 1961, and two saved boxes for horse meat products (burgers and flaked/formed steaks). I have no idea about the age of the horse steak packaging — some storytelling and we guesstimated they were probably from the late 1980’s. Given that the packaging for these products was saved for 20+ years, that tells me they were a novelty worth keeping, that horse meat products were a real rarity during (and prior to) the past few decades.
3. This Isn’t Happening Overnight
The ban on funding horse slaughter inspection has been lifted, but still the challenges training, staffing, and inspecting — not to mention finding the funding itself — has happened. There’s still a lot of paperwork to be done, though it may occur quicker in states where the development of state programs has been under consideration.