Is the United States closer to allowing horse meat production? On Friday, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed the Oklahoma Meat Inspection Act, ending the prohibition on horse meat processing for export in Oklahoma. House Bill 1999, sponsored by state legislators Rep. Skye McNeil and Sen. Eddie Fields, passed 82-14 in the House and 32-14 in the Senate.
While the sale of horse meat for human consumption would still be off the table in Oklahoma, on November 1, 2013, the state will join the 46 others that allow equine slaughter. However, no states have processed horse meat since federal action in 2007, and bills pending in Congress would prohibit horse slaughter.
Advocates for the Oklahoma legislation said it's in the best interest of animals that would otherwise be abused, neglected, starved or sent to Canada and Mexico to meet a painful end in an unregulated plant.
Dying to try lion? If you live in Illinois, you'd better get your fix quickly before proposed legislation would make the "mane" course a Class A misdemeanor.
Illinois State Representative Luis Arroyo proposed HB 2991 to the state's General Assembly last month. If the Lion Meat Act passes, Illinois will become the first U.S. state to forbid lion slaughter, or for any person to possess, breed, import, export, buy or sell lions for the purpose of slaughter - making it illegal to serve or sell lion meat at restaurant, hotel or other commercial establishment. Offenders would face a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 if convicted.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, lions are not currently protected as an endangered cat in the U.S., and there are no laws prohibiting its sale. It also falls outside the USDA's inspection parameters and under those of the Food and Drug Administration, which categorizes lion as a "game meat."
Still, the king of the jungle doesn't exactly abound on American menus, so why is Arroyo mounting an attack?
Food recalls are coming in fast and furious and it's often hard to keep track. In this series of recall round-ups we share the most up-to-date information on the foods you should be scrutinizing right now.
Editor's note: Roly Owers is chief executive of World Horse Welfare and a qualified veterinarian with a lifetime of involvement with horses. He is active in working with governments, sport regulators, veterinary bodies and non-profit organizations to improve horse welfare worldwide.
A welcome spotlight is now being shone on the murky trade in European horsemeat, but the public are still being left in the dark about the brutal treatment and needless suffering of the horses destined for their plates.
Every year around 65,000 horses are crammed into trucks and transported across Europe to the slaughterhouse for what can be days on end in hellish conditions.
Nestle is suspending deliveries of all its products that include beef from a German supplier because "traces of horse DNA" were found in the meat, the Swiss-based food giant said on its website Monday.
Nestle also is recalling two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, from store shelves in Italy and Spain, the news release said. A lasagna product sold to French catering businesses will also be recalled.
French prosecutors are investigating how horse meat was sold as beef, the country's consumer affairs minister said Thursday.
The announcement comes as UK inspectors said that horse carcasses contaminated with an equine painkiller harmful to humans may have entered the food chain in France.
A number of meat plants that handled the horse meat as it made its way through the food chain are facing questions about what they knew and whether fraud was involved.