BREAKING NEWS: Save the Horses! Three Lawmakers Will Try to Ban Slaughter for Food

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ABC NEWS / Chris Goos / March 13, 2013

Image credit: Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

A trio of U.S. lawmakers is saying “no” to horse meat.

The U.S. is set to begin slaughtering horses again for the first time in six years, and recent news of Ikea sausages and British Taco Bell beef containing small amounts of horse has raised horse-meat alarm bells among the meat-consuming public.

Congress originally banned horse slaughter in 2006 by defunding USDA’s horse-meat inspectors. But after the ban lapsed in 2011, a lawsuit and industry pressure has forced USDA to start inspecting again, and a company says it expects to open the first slaughterhouse in Roswell, N.M., within the next month and a half.

“These companies must still complete necessary technical requirements and FSIS [the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service] must still complete its inspector training, but at that point, the Department will legally have no choice but to go forward with inspections, which is why we urge Congress to reinstate the ban,” a USDA spokesperson told ABC News.

Enter Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Reps.  Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.

The three will introduce a bill on Wednesday that would put a stop to the pending horse slaughter.

The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, as the House version is dubbed, would not only ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the U.S. but would also prohibit shipping horses outside the U.S. for food slaughter. Unlike the appropriations rider that had prevented horse slaughter until now, the statutory ban would not expire.

The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday with the three lawmakers, the two groups announced on Tuesday.

“Horses sent to slaughter are often subject to appalling, brutal treatment,” Schakowsky said in a statement emailed to ABC News by a spokesperson. “We must fight those practices.  The Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013 will ensure that these majestic animals are treated with the respect they deserve.”

Members of Congress, National Animal Welfare Groups, Veterinarian, Equestrians Gather to Protect Horses and American Public

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the Animal Welfare Institute, The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, veterinarian Dr. Nick Dodman and 17-year-old equestrian Brittany Wallace will join U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., as they introduce federal legislation to stop the inhumane killing of American horses for human consumption and prohibit the transport of horses across the U. S. border for slaughter. The passage of these bills would prohibit horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export and slaughter of more than 160,000 American horses abroad each year, and protect the public from consuming toxic horsemeat.

WHO:

  • Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.
  • Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa.
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
  • Dr. Nick Dodman, DVM, ACVA and ACVB, Co-Founder of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare
  • Brittany Wallace, 17-year-old equestrian, discovered first horse was sold and later rescued from slaughter
  • Nancy Perry, senior vice president of Government Relations, ASPCA
  • Chris Heyde, deputy director, Government and Legal Affairs, Animal Welfare Institute
  • Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO, The Humane Society of the United States

WHEN: Wednesday, March 13 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

WHY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced plans to process an application for inspecting horse slaughter at a New Mexico facility. If approved, Valley Meat Company LLC will be the first facility in the U.S. to slaughter horses for human consumption since 2007, when the few remaining plants closed after Congress chose to eliminate funding for horse meat inspections. This surprising move to reopen a horse slaughter plant plays out against the scandal unfolding in the European Union, where consumers have been alarmed by the discovery in prepared food products of horse meat mislabeled as beef.

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
10 Comments
  • Jackie

    Thank you so much for all you do to protect our horses.

    March 13, 2013
  • Praying, praying, praying that this hard work by these fine people will be blessed and the end of slaughtering horses will quickly come!!!

    March 13, 2013
  • Marcia

    Bless everyone who is helping. May they succeed.

    March 13, 2013
  • Sue Wallis Lies

    Let’s hope this passes. You know there will be a lot of opposition to this bill. Hopefully, there will be more for it in light of the recent scandal in Europe. Americans need to get their heads out of their butts and wake UP!

    March 13, 2013
  • Amie Selecman

    GREAT article! We must stop this from happening everywhere! This is too close to happening in my state of NM!!

    March 13, 2013
  • Adam

    It’s time for all of us to get behind this. Time to call your senator and rep and inform them of this bill so we can get as much support behind it as possible. I will be praying that it passes this time and this mean, barbaric and cruel process can end.

    March 13, 2013
  • janwindsong

    They should be including scientist, John Holland, advocate Simone Netherland, investigators, Sonja Meadows, rescuers, Jerry Fitch, Allen Warren, lawyers Vicki Tobin and Laura Allen. This offering must hit with every strong voice we have and continue until the ban is in place.

    Please contact HSUS and ASPCA and ask these voices be added. If not, contact your DC reps and demand they cosponsor and see to the passage of this bill through committee and to the President for signatre.

    March 13, 2013
  • Deborah Beare

    This is good news. I could personally sleep so much better at night if this abysmal practice were made clear to our government that the American public is undesiring of the slaughter of horses for meat AND against the export of horses for slaughter, something equally appalling. I am 1000% opposed to it!

    March 13, 2013
  • We are all so thankful for all of your hard work in trying to help the horses!!! I so hope this will pass, that would be a HUGE VICTORY!!! 🙂

    March 13, 2013
  • Victoria Kipf

    Email and or call all of your congress people and ask them to support this bill. It will protect our food supply and end the cruelty on the way to and at the slaughter house.

    March 13, 2013