A hearing to be held in a South Dakota Senate Agriculture Committee meeting Jan. 29 will analyze the viability of new legislature that may set the wheels in motion for the construction of an equine slaughter facility in that state. South Dakota Senate Bill 170, introduced by several state senators and representatives, would authorize a loan from the state’s Regional Economic Development fund for the purpose of constructing an equine processing facility in South Dakota.
According to language from the bill, the loan is not to exceed one million dollars and would be used to fund a local industrial development corporation that would “provide for the design, construction, completion, equipping, and maintaining of an equine processing facility to be located on state, tribal, or private lands in South Dakota and if needed, a mutually acceptable assignment of revenues which meets all the needs of all parties involved with such a facility.” A vote on the bill has not been scheduled.
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311), a federal bill that was reintroduced to the current Congress, would make it illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption and would also outlaw the domestic and international transport of horses to slaughter. However, the federal legislation has not been voted on yet this year, and it’s unknown when — and if — Congress will get to it.