House Appropriations Committee Votes to Block Horse Slaughter From Resuming on U.S. Soil

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HSUS – June 13. 2013

images-23WASHINGTON (June 13, 2013)—The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has voted to block funding for inspections at prospective horse slaughter plants, which if it survives the entire legislative process, would halt any effort to resume slaughter for these animals on U.S. soil. The committee backed, by a voice vote, an amendment to the agriculture appropriations bill offered by Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Bill Young, R-Fla., to forbid spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on inspections U.S. horse slaughter plants in Fiscal Year 2014. A similar spending prohibition was put in place in 2005, however, it was not renewed in 2011, leading to the opportunity for horse slaughter plants to reopen in the U.S. at the estimated annual expense of 5 million taxpayer dollars.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following response:

“American taxpayers don’t want their money wasted on the inspection of horse slaughter plants that trade in the tainted meat of our former show, race and work horses. The federal budget is already strapped, and we thank the House Appropriations Committee for recognizing that this is one expenditure we will all do better without. Horses belong on the range or in the stable, not on a foreign dinner plate.”

Background:

  • President Obama’s proposed FY 2014 budget included a request for Congress to prevent tax dollars from supporting horse slaughter.
  • Currently, there are no horse slaughter facilities operating in the U.S., but USDA confirms it had received at least six applications from prospective abattoirs.
  • American horses are raised to be companions, athletes and work horses. They are often treated with drugs, both legal and illegal, that can endanger the food supply. There is currently no system in the U.S. to track medications and veterinary treatments given to horses throughout their lives to ensure that their meat is safe for human consumption.
  • “Kill buyers” gather up horses from random sources and profit by selling horsemeat from healthy horses that bring the best price per pound for their meat. USDA reports show that approximately 92 percent of American horses going to slaughter are healthy and would otherwise be able to go on to lead productive lives.
  • The methods used to kill horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses often endure repeated blows to make them unconscious and are sometimes remain conscious during the slaughtering process. When horse slaughter plants previously operated in the U.S., the USDA documented severe injuries to horses in the slaughter pipeline, including broken bones and eyeballs hanging from a thread of skin.
  • The Safeguard American Food Exports Act, H.R. 1094 / S. 541, introduced this year by U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., is a bipartisan measure that would outlaw horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.

 

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
21 Comments
  • Debbie Tracy

    This is some MORE wonderful news…. Finally they are listening, NOW if it will go through?? I honestly can’t imagine with the budget the way it is and knowing probably more than 80% of us DO NOT want this that the defunding language will not pass right through… My fingers are crossed and am going to think positive going to try very hard to do that!!!! We have to pass 1094 but one thing at a time will do>>>>>>

    June 13, 2013
  • Nancy

    This is a great day! Six Wild Horses with a new born just came to my front door ! I ran & got all my carrots 2 big bags of them & went out side to give them some carrots they came almost right up to me with my hand on the doorknob not sure what they were gonna do but I love them so much I knew they wouldn’t hurt me but did not leave my front door just in case>>> oh they are so beautiful i guess they went to the top of my mtn. Virginia City Highlands Nevada! thank you for the post!

    June 13, 2013
  • Jackie

    Very pleased with this decision but I still have concerns for these unwanted horses.

    June 13, 2013
  • Daryl

    So we helped to block horses from going to slaughter, and used as food. Happy day. Lets hope it stays that way !

    June 13, 2013
  • sherriey

    wonderful news!!!!….but…i will not do the happy dance until its a total fact and law…until it goes thru the system.
    but….its non the less very encouraging!!!!
    my fingers are crossed….and my prayers will be continued….

    June 13, 2013
      • sherriey

        i remember when that happened too. i cried my eyes out, threw things and yelled at God…”WHY???? Why????” (not that its HIS fault!)…out of frustration and anger….that our stupid politicians were so blind and uncaring!! i will not do that again. i am so much wiser now…i will wait…..and pray….

        June 14, 2013
  • Mary Anne Gardner

    So happy please don’t ever let slaughter be found in the U.S.

    June 13, 2013
  • Suzanne Dunham

    Is this going to prevent them from being shipped to Canada or Mexico????? I don’t see anything that’s going to stop this killing.

    June 13, 2013
  • shirley mix

    Please stop slaughter houses for horses.

    June 13, 2013
  • Tina Louise Ogilvie

    There is still SO MUCH more to be done! We cannot stop calling, sending e-mails and letters…NOT YET! I will believe it when I see it! We must continue the fight until we actually see the Committee agree on this and make it law! I won’t ever give up…ever!

    June 14, 2013
  • That is great news…..Wonderful would be if they passed the Slaughter Bill…..

    June 14, 2013
  • Pam

    I am thrilled with the continuing ban, but it really does not solve the problem. Tens of thousands of horses now must endure long trips, stuffed together in double level semis, to plants in Canada and Mexico.
    The real problem is what to do with the aged and infirm horses that have no future. My solution is to have low cost euthanasia clinics, where these old guys can be humanely put to sleep after eating a full bucket of grain and surrounded by caring people who are trying to do the best that they can for these old warriors.
    I know of several of these places that hold monthly clinics, and they get about 25 horses a month to humanely euthanize. The actual cost of the drugs is only $25.00
    The alternative for these old guys (and horses in excrutiating pain) is to be abandoned, starved or shipped out of the country.
    We do this for our dogs and cats. Why not horses who have no quality of life left?
    For the rest, re-homing is still a viable alternative.
    So is more selective breeding!!! Like dog breeders, backyard breeders need to think long and hard about bringing more horses into the world.

    June 14, 2013
    • sherriey

      now thats a good idea!!!! the best i have ever read. the funding would be the hurdle….but if that could be overcome….this would be wonderful.
      hmmm…also…disposal of the carcasses may be another issue….

      June 14, 2013
  • Cherie

    This is such wonderful news! So nice to have a big smile for once!

    June 14, 2013
  • Linda Jackson

    Grazing and habitat issue: Adam Smith’s Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA H.R. 2201) is reintroduced that calls for removal of non-native livestock. I tried comments on his website but it doesn’t allow from outside his district. My question to him would be what constitutes non-native? It would at least lessen the cattlemen’s associations plans for equine genocide.

    June 14, 2013
  • Amy Miller

    I read an idea that we need to help aid those who want to keep their horses but are having a hard time, such as unemployment. There is a rescue that already does this for these kind of families.

    We need to help find alternative places for the horses that are unwanted. Such as rescues where they can be rehomed where they are watched to make sure their new home takes care of their horses.

    Stop unnecessary breeding, now that is a hard one to do but it needs to be done. We have a recession in our economy but people are still breeding as if there is no problem at all and horses are over flowing into slaughter in Canada and Mexico. We need to fight to stop the over breeding of horses.

    I like the idea of the horses that are old and their lives are humane anymore but they are suffering because of old age that a lower rate euthanasia is the best for those families. These are some ideas that I would let my tax dollars go to.

    June 14, 2013