Horse slaughter plant may open here
By Michael Van Cassell
CHEYENNE -- A Wyoming state representative from Recluse is interested in opening a horse slaughtering facility in Laramie County, according to the director of the Wyoming Livestock Board.
Earlier this year, Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, was one of several legislators to sponsor a bill that allows the "disposal of" stray animals, as opposed to their sale.
"She is interested in doing something with the horses that have no value anymore," said Jim Schwartz, director of the Wyoming Livestock Board.
Derek Grant, public information officer for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, said such a plant would have to follow the same rules that other meat facilities do in the state.
"We have not received any blueprints or an application for a permit," he said.
Grant did add that the meat at the potential facility is going to be used for animal feed.
"We don't really know where it's going to be," he said.
Patricia Fazio, who has been involved with animal welfare issues at the state and local level in Wyoming since 1994, said Wallis had "become a pariah among people like myself."
"I question the legality of it. I question the ethical and humane issues involved in this," Fazio said. "I find it totally ghastly and disgusting."
Horses cannot be slaughtered for human consumption because those facilities must be inspected by USDA inspectors, funding for which has been taken away, according to Fazio.
Fazio said such facilities create environmental problems. She said the facilities are noisy and smell.
"If Cheyenne wants one, they'd better be well prepared for it, because it's disgusting," she said.