AUSTIN — Agriculture commissioner candidate Tommy Merritt is drawing attention to rival Sid Miller’s past support for horse slaughter, noting in a mailer to Republican primary voters that Miller introduced measures in the House to legalize the sale of horses for eventual human consumption.
Miller, a former Republican representative from Stephenville, offered bills in 2003 and 2007 that would have allowed the sale of horse meat for consumption in foreign countries. Miller’s goal was to keep open the two horse slaughter plants in Texas to provide a “more humane” option than plants in Mexico.
“In Mexico, it’s not humanely done. It’s done under horrid conditions,” said Miller’s campaign strategist, Todd M. Smith. The bill “was to provide a means for people to have a humane and tightly controlled and regulated means of euthanizing horses under the supervision of a veterinarian and the watchful eye of the state of Texas.”