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Published December 01, 2011, 07:24 PM

Official: Horse Slaughterhouse Unlikely in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — It's unlikely that North Dakota will open a horse slaughterhouse in the wake of Congress lifting a ban on funding horse meat inspections, a state official said.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — It's unlikely that North Dakota will open a horse slaughterhouse in the wake of Congress lifting a ban on funding horse meat inspections, a state official said.

Pro-slaughter activists have said they are looking to open a plant soon — possibly in North Dakota.

But John Mittleider, manager of ag and bioenergy with the state Department of Commerce, said that a study funded by the Legislature and completed last year showed it wouldn't be feasible for a horse slaughterhouse to be operated in North Dakota, according to a story posted Thursday by the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/rJ6e4V ).

Mittleider said the first phase of a study found there were a number of barriers, including legal issues, to building such a facility in the state. A second phase of the study, if deemed necessary, would determine the economic feasibility of a processing plant.

The study's first phase read in part: "... it is our view at this time that there are significant impediments, if not outright barriers, to the establishment of a horse processing facility in North Dakota to produce horse meat for human consumption ..."

However, Mittleider acknowledged that the study — approved during the 2009 legislative session for $50,000 — wouldn't preclude a private individual or group from studying the issue further.

The Associated Press reported earlier this week that a congressional lifting of a ban to fund horse meat inspections could open the door for slaughterhouses in some states.

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