“New Jersey Does NOT Eat Horse Meat”
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Mercer and Middlesex and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, D-Bergen and Passaic, banning the sale or slaughter of horse meat for human consumption was approved today by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
The measure, A-2023, comes after a federal ban was lifted last fall that reverses a 2006 congressional ban on the slaughter of horses as it withdrew funding for the government to inspect plants that butchered horses for consumption.
“New Jersey does not eat horse meat,” Dancer said. “We appreciate these magnificent animals for their grace and beauty and do not want them slaughtered in our state, nor permit the sale of horse meat in the Garden State where the State Animal is the horse.”
The bill would prohibit anyone from knowingly slaughtering or selling a horse for human consumption. Violators would be guilty of a disorderly persons offense with penalties up to $100 and 30 days imprisonment plus civil fines between $500 and $1,000 for each horse slaughtered or each carcass or meat product sold. The penalties and fines are consistent with the current state law in effect that bans the slaughter of man’s best friend, the dog, for human consumption of dog meat.
Dancer pointed to the recent incident of a champion horse rider and trainer in Pennsylvania who avoided prison by agreeing to enter a first-offender program after she was charged with selling retired race horses to a slaughter plant after promising their owners she would retrain the animals and find them a new home.
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