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Laura and her horse, Scout

Congress will be dabating and voting on a bill banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption this week.

I am all for that bill.

Horse slaughter bill reaches trail’s end

By Elana Schor

The lobbying battle over banning horse slaughter for human consumption will move to the House floor this week as celebrity supporters square off against agricultural groups and members temporarily abandon election-year partisanship to consider the bill.

Consuming horsemeat is uncommon among Americans but remains an accepted practice overseas, creating a small market for three U.S.-based horse-slaughter plants. Reps. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) have secured a promise from GOP leaders for a Thursday vote on their plan to close those plants and halt government-sanctioned horse killing. But the bill has run into a surprising amount of opposition in a culture built on pony rides and cowboy movies.

Former Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas), now lobbying for a coalition of farm and veterinary groups seeking to bring down the bill, questioned why a bill banning horse slaughter merits floor time on one of the few legislative days remaining in the House’s crowded September session.

“A large number of members are surprised it’s coming to a vote,” Stenholm contended last week.

But the bill has broad support. Sweeney and Whitfield have joined with Democrats to round up more than 200 cosponsors after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sidestepped their amendment last year aimed at blocking funding for the slaughter plants.