Texas Humane Legislation Network Media Alert

For immediate release: May 26, 2003

For more information contact:  Susan Hendrix (512) 413-1602 or (512) 476-3377


Pro-Horse Slaughter Forces in the Texas House are

Defiant in Their Efforts to Win


Austin , TX – In response to the Texas Senate’s decision to allow controversial horse slaughter legislation to be held in committee, the pro-slaughter forces in the Texas House of Representatives pulled a last-minute – and what opponents might say underhanded – maneuver Saturday to resurrect legislation to legalize horse slaughter and the sell of horse meat for human consumption.


An amendment was hurriedly tacked on to Senate Bill 1413, an unrelated bill, to repeal Chapter 149 of the Agricultural Code which makes it a criminal offense to sell, possess or transfer horse meat for human consumption. 


“I was surprised by the stealth repealer amendment that  was attached to SB 1413,” said State Rep. Toby Goodman (R-Arlington). “This amendment has the effect of legalizing horse slaughter in Texas as well as the sell and consumption of horse meat. The amendment was attached without explanation or debate,” he added.


A Texas statewide voter survey concerning horse slaughter was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research from May 4 through May 6, 2003 .  The survey revealed that 89 percent of Texans are not aware that horse slaughter exists in Texas and 77 percent stated they oppose changing state law to legalize the slaughter of horses for human consumption.


If the Senate allows this amendment to stay on SB 1413 and Chapter 149 is repealed, not only will the two foreign-owned slaughter plants be able to slaughter American horses and sell their meat to foreign countries, but they will now be able to sell horse meat in Texas and the rest of the United States .  This would mean horse meat could be mixed with other meats to sell in hot dogs and other blended meat products. Texans could be eating horse meat in the future without realizing it. 


This amendment will also overturn a 2002 Texas Attorney General’s ruling that the two horse slaughter plants, French-owned Dallas Crown in Kaufman and Belgian-owned Beltex in Fort Worth , are operating illegally and must shut down or face prosecution.