UPDATE: Citing federal budget restrictions, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has turned down a permit request from a northwest Missouri business that sought to process horses for meat.
The DNR said in a letter Thursday to David Rains, owner of Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, that the agency has denied Rains' permit request for his proposed horse slaughter operation because the new federal budget withheld funding for required federal inspections of the slaughtering process.
The resumption of commercial horse slaughter in the U.S. was effectively blocked last week when President Barack Obama signed a budget measure that stops the U.S. Department of Agriculture from spending money for inspections necessary for slaughterhouses to ship horse meat interstate and export it.
Rains didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.
Front Range Equine Rescue has just learned that Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin has given up its current legal fight for the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
Rains sought permission to discharge waste water from the horse slaughter operations, but the Missouri Department of Natural Resources informed the company that it could not engage in horse slaughter operations because of potential contamination from the byproducts of such slaughter.
"Horses are given all sorts of drugs as they're growing uo. Horses are not raised for food and we don't know what drugs are in those horses when they end up at the slaughter house to be killed. A whole lot of water is used in the slaughter process. That water then runs off into the ground water. It's a danger to the environment and people in the area as well to people who consume the meat," said Attorney Bruce Wagman.
Front Range Equine Rescue joined the DNR in support of the state's concerns about potential dangers of horse slaughter.
Since 2011, FRER has successfully stalled the slaughter of horses in the U.S. following President Obama's re-authorization of funds for horse slaughter plant inspections.