Bill includes language to end U.S. horse slaughter
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 includes language that will end horse slaughter for the next two years. Susan Wagner, President of Equine Advocates, says: ‘we are finally on the road to a permanent ban’. ~ HfH
From: Chatham Courier
By: Karrie Allen
CHATHAM — Jan. 17 was a good day for Equine Advocates President and founder Susan Wagner and the hundreds of organizations and supporters who have lobbied to end horse slaughter in the United States. On this day, President Barack Obama signed the $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, which included language to defund horse meat inspection, thus ending horse slaughter in the United States for two years.
While grateful to Obama for signing the bill, Wagner also thanked Vice President Joseph Biden “for spearheading the effort to insert the language into the Omnibus bill.”
She also credited Florida State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo and equine advocate Victoria McCullough. “It is because of their tireless and dedicated efforts that horse slaughterhouses will be prevented from opening in the U.S.” due to passage of the bill.
In 2012, Wagner hosted the first American Equine Summit at her horse rescue and sanctuary in Chatham with two objectives: To come up with a strategy to reverse the damage done by Congress and move toward a federal ban on horse slaughter and to empower the “80 percenters” who are against horse slaughter and give them the tools to be able to effectively make their voices heard and inspire change. Among the speakers was McCullough, CEO of Chesapeake Petroleum and an accomplished international equestrian.
At this summit, McCullough announced that she would take on the challenge of ending horse slaughter in the United States, stated Wagner. “She took the lead from the experts speaking at the summit, each of whom had invaluable information and experience and helped contribute to the resolution of this hard-fought issue.”
One of the experts was John Holland, president of the Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), who was also a speaker at the summit. McCullough used much of his research and information from published papers and studies to make her case against horse slaughter to Vice President Biden, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and others in the Executive Branch, noted Wagner.
One such case was the 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that blamed falling horse prices and increased abuse and neglect on the closing of domestic slaughter plants in 2007. Texas and Illinois closed the last three plants in 2007 and that was the last time horses were slaughtered in the United States.