Abbott: Horse meat ban doesn't violate Commerce Clause

By Chris Rizo | May 8, 2008

Greg Abbott

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline)-It is illegal to ship horse meat across Texas, state Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a legal a legal opinion released this week.

The Democrat's opinion specifically affects two horse-rendering plants in the Lone Star State that have fought to continue operating in light of a ban on possessing horse meat for human consumption.

The two plants- Beltex in Fort Worth and the Dallas Crown plant in Kaufman - slaughtered horses and shipped the meat overseas for consumption.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in January 2007 affirmed the state ban on possession of horse meat for humans, as outlined in Chapter 149 of the state Agriculture Code.

State Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, asked Abbott for the opinion as to whether it was legal to temporarily store horse meat in Texas that belongs to a foreign corporation and is intended for human consumption outside the state.

Abbott said even if a foreign corporation that transports horse meat intended for sale as food for human consumption in-bond through Texas for immediate export abroad "does not violate the federal dormant Commerce Clause by discriminating against or unduly burdening interstate or foreign commerce."

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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