Senate Gives Final OK to Horse Slaughter Bill

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The state Senate has given final approval to a bill that would make it easier to open and operate a horse slaughtering plant in Montana.

Friday’s 27-23 vote in favor of House Bill 418 sends the bill to Gov. Brian Schweitzer for consideration. Schweitzer has not indicated his position on the bill.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Ed Butcher of Winifred, expressly allows horse-slaughter plants to be built in Montana and offers them legal protections if their license is challenged in court.

It would require those challenging a slaughter facility permit to post a bond worth 20 percent of its construction costs. It would also prohibit courts from halting construction of a facility once it’s been approved by the state.

Supporters have said a slaughter plant would bring investment and jobs to the state and provide a place for people to dispose of old or sick horses, rather than abandoning them.

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