House Bill 1324

The Texas Agriculture Code Reads as Follows:

148.029. Fee for Horses Sold to Slaughterer

(a)    A slaughterer shall pay the following fees for each horse purchased for slaughter:

(1)    $2 to the Texas Agricultural Extension Service; and

(2)    $3 to the department, agency, or association authorized and designated by the secretary of agriculture of the United States to inspect livestock in Texas under 7 U.S.C. Section 217a.

(b)    The slaughterer shall remit the fees required by Subsection (a) on a weekly basis.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 780, 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997

148.030. Inspection of Horses Sold Through Certain Slaughterhouses

The department, agency, or association authorized to inspect livestock under 7 U.S.C. Section 217a shall inspect for identification purposes each horse held, handled, purchased, or sold through a slaughterhouse.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 780, 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997

Opponents of this bill are trying to use current state law dealing with the sale of horsemeat for human consumption to close the plants and effectively ban the practice in the state of Texas.  The fact that current state statute regulates horse slaughter indicates a clear legislative intent to legalize this practice in Texas.  This bill would clarify current statute dealing with the sale of horsemeat for human consumption making it consistent with the other Texas Ag statutes that clearly indicate the legality of horse slaughter in Texas.

These plants are regulated by USDA, the Dept. of Ag. and the European Union and brands are inspected by the Texas Cattle Raisers Association.  Plants are prohibited from slaughtering unless there is a USDA inspector present.

It has been assumed that these plants are operating legally because the USDA, and others regulate the operation.  The state of Texas does not regulate illegal activity.

Miscellaneous Information
The products from these plants are also used for the following:

  1. The heart sac from the horse is used in human heart and chest surgery as a "pericardial patch" when the human heart sac is opened, traumatized or damaged.

  2. Veterinary schools often obtain reproductive tracts to use in teaching anatomy and reproductive processes.

  3. Horse meat is also used in Pet foods and sold to zoos to feed the "big cats."