Horse-meat bill passes in Florida House

April 22, 2010

A proposed law to tighten restrictions around horse meat has passed the House in Florida. It has yet to go for a vote before the state Senate.

The bill is a response to a major black-market trade, centred on Miami, for horse meat for human consumption.

Police have been investigating a series of incidents in which pet horses have been stolen and butchered for meat, their remains often left on rural roadsides.

The new measures would result in a ban on people transporting, buying, owning or giving out horse meat for human consumption, unless the meat is clearly marked and stamped for that purpose. It is illegal to sell horse meat without the stamp.

People caught transporting, distributing, purchasing or possessing horse meat without a stamp will face a minimum year in jail and a fine of up to $US5000. Offenders could faces up to five years in prison.