On Nov. 18, President Obama signed the fiscal year 2012 agriculture appropriations bill into law. Absent was a rider that previously had prohibited U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection of horsemeat for human consumption.

That backdoor rider was placed in previous versions of the ag bill and ended domestic horse slaughter.

Since the issue of horse slaughter first arose in the United States, the American Quarter Horse Association has publicly fought to keep horse slaughter as an end-of-life option for owners who need it. To some, this position seems puzzling. After all, isn’t AQHA about protecting horses?