CEI Proposes Legalizing Horse Meat Sale

Washington, D.C., August 10, 2009—A Senior Fellow at the
Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank with offices in Washington, D.C.
and Tallahassee, proposes a simple solution to the spate of horse killings in South
Florida: legalize the sale of horse meat. 

Eli Lehrer, the
director of CEI’s Center for Risk Regulation and Markets, named the ban on
horse meat sales for human consumption to his annual list of the five
dumbest product bans in the United States
. In recent weeks, news reports
have described the criminal killing, butchering, and theft at least 17 horses
in rural South Florida—almost certainly for
their meat. Current federal law prohibits the expenditure of federal funds for
the inspection of horse meat. This, for all intents and purposes, makes it illegal
to sell horse meat in the United States.

“Legalization of horse meat sales will solve the problem and
cut these criminals off. People all over the world enjoy eating horse. France even has
a horse meat industry association that runs advertisements on TV,” says Eli Lehrer, the Director of the
Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Risk, Regulation and Markets. “We
should cut off these criminals’ business by legalizing the sale of horsemeat.”

Lehrer says that laws banning the sale of horse meat are
culturally prejudiced. “It’s already legal to kill a horse for any reason or
for no reason so long as it’s not done with wanton cruelty.  American horses can even be exported to
Canada and Mexico for slaughter and shipment to butcher shops. Horse bones work
their ways into gelatin and ice cream products currently sold in the United
States. Horse is commonly eaten in Germany, France, and Franophone Canada.  There’s no reason why American residents
shouldn’t be able to enjoy a nice horse steak for dinner.” 

CEI is
a non-profit, non-partisan free-market public policy group dedicated to the
principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information
about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.