At 3:30 PST, a group of representatives from U.S. and Canadian animal science and humane livestock handling organizations, as well as federal and state livestock processing regulatory agencies will convene at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for a discussion entitled "Setting the High Standard for Humane Processing of Horses." The "processing" part of the equation entails the slaughter and butchery of the animals for the purpose of human consumption.
The panel, which is being held as part of a four day Summit of the Horse includes representatives from American Humane, the Humane Handling and Assessment Tool Project, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The issue at hand has stirred passionate and polar arguments from those who see horse meat - especially that of wild mustangs who are seen by some as an invasive species - as a cheap, viable source of food for hungry Americans, and wild horse advocates who see the slaughter of these animals as cruel and unnecessary.
We've asked before if our readers would be willing to eat horse meat and were slightly surprised by the outcome, expecting an infinitely more negative response.
Is there a change in perception on the hoof?
All week, American Morning is exploring the issues surrounding wild horses in the West. Read Mustang Roundup: Taking the wild out of the West