A Montana legislator is sponsoring a bill that would clear the way for a horse slaughterhouse in the state, if investors want to build one.

The United States no longer has a slaughterhouse where horses are processed, but there are facilities in Canada and Mexico that receive U.S. horses.

Republican legislator Ed Butcher of Lewistown says doing the work stateside makes more sense. He says that would help people who need to dispose of horses, and would strengthen Montana's economy.

The Humane Society of the United States finds the Butcher bill a bad idea.

The measure will be up for a hearing in a House committee Thursday.

A bill being considered in North Dakota would designate money to study the possible opening of a horse slaughterhouse there. In Wyoming, the House has given preliminary approval to a measure requesting Congress not interfere with shipment and slaughter of unwanted horses.

A bill pending in Congress would prohibit transporting across U.S. borders horses that would be killed for meat. That would remove Canada and Mexico as slaughter destinations.