by Erin Ryder
A bill that would make a state-funded loan of up to $1 million available to construct a horse slaughtering facility in South Dakota is scheduled for a hearing in the state's Senate Agriculture Committee Jan. 29.
The bill, known as S.B. 170, was introduced by several members of the South Dakota State Senate and House Agriculture Committees Jan. 22.
No equine processing facilities are currently operating in the United States. Two Texas-based slaughter plants were closed in early 2007 when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 1949 state law banning the practice there. The nation's last active horse slaughter plant, Cavel International of DeKalb, Ill., shut down in September 2007 after a court decision upheld the constitutionality of a new state law banning the import, export, and possession of horsemeat intended for human consumption.