Horse meat anyone? Horse meat connoisseurs may be disappointed come Nov. 3. Proposition 6 would prohibit the slaughter of horses and the sale of horse meat for human consumption in California.
In addition, the measure prohibits horses being sent out of California for slaughter in other states or countries for human consumption. This measure also includes ponies, burros, and mules.
State law currently permits the slaughter of horses for human consumption and use in pet food.
There are no facilities in California currently licensed to slaughter horses for human consumption and nationwide there are fewer than 10 facilities.
While there are no facilities in California, according to the state Department of Food and Agriculture, last year more than 3,000 horses were sent from California to other states for slaughter.
Anyone selling a horse out of state for slaughter is required to document the purpose.
The facilities that are in use are state or federally inspected facilities. They are required by law to be separated from other livestock facilities.
Many supporters of this measure claim that an underground black market sells millions of horses to slaughter houses out of state and then ships the meat to other countries such as Canada and England.
I agree with the measure,” said Keith Price, manager of River Trails and Riding Stables in Norco. “However, when we trade the horses it’s no telling where they end up.”
Other people do not agree with the measure because it effects cultural diversity.
“Just because I didn’t grow up eating horsemeat doesn’t mean that in other countries they don’t eat it,” graduate student Margaret Bennett said.
“To me there is no difference between horsemeat and beef.”