A group calling itself Horses United In Hermiston is pushing for a slaughterhouse to be built just ouside the city, but officials are saying "no."Dave Duquette, president of the United group, says a (recently lifted) five year ban on such facilities caused horses to drop in value,  animal neglect and abuse, and owners who had animals who needed to be put down had to take them to Canada or Mexico.  Congress lifted the ban last November.  Duquette says such facilities will serve an important need, and cause horses to not be a "liability" financially.

However, city officials object to the potential "stench" from such a plant,  the possible health risks, and the negative stigma of having a slaughterhouse that kills horses essentially "in" the community.  Duquette says an un-named California company has purchased 252 acres near the  I-84 generating station for such a purpose.      The final decision would rest with the Umatilla County Planning Commission,  no timetable has been set for the decision.

Duquette also says horsemeat is consumed in 70% of the rest of the world, it is presume the slaughtered horses would be used for that purpose.   Last November, Congress lifted the ban on slaughtering horses for the purpose of human consumption.

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