Omnibus Budget Will End Chances of Horse Slaughter Plants Opening in US

Joe Abruzzo, Victoria McCullough & VP, Joe Biden

Thank you, Victoria McCullough. When those with the power and the means go beyond what is easy to do what is good… we all win…including the horses. ~ HfH

From: Equine Welfare Alliance Press Release

Joe Abruzzo, Victoria McCullough & VP, Joe Biden

Joe Abruzzo, Victoria McCullough & VP, Joe Biden

CHICAGO, (EWA) – The omnibus bill pending before Congress this week contains language that will end the possibility of proposed horse slaughter plants opening in New Mexico and Missouri. The last three plants were closed in 2007 under state laws, and Congress had defunded required inspections which made it impossible for them to open in other states until 2011.

In 2011, the GAO produced a report claiming that these closures had caused a dramatic increase in the rate of abuse and neglect. This report was used by members of a small conference subcommittee to justify stripping the defunding language that had been placed in the 2012 House Agriculture budget but not in the Senate version. The GAO report was later discovered by EWA to have been falsified.

The new defunding language contains not only defunding, but also a stipulation that funding not be restored until and unless the Food and Drug Administration makes a determination that meat from American horses can be made safe to enter the food supply. The FDA regulates which drugs are safe in meat animals as well as their withdrawal times. The FDA currently categorizes horses as companion (non-food) animals. Such a determination would most probably require a reduction in the drugs available to treat horses and an increase in the required tracking of such treatments as is currently done with meat animals.

Defunding language was passed by both the House and the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committees in 2013 with super majorities, but neither budget reached the floor for a full vote. Last week with key support from Vice President Biden and congressional leaders, the defunding language was put into the omnibus bill.

“Victoria McCullough was the one who made this happen.” explains EWA President John Holland, “It was the fact that Victoria, an accomplished international equestrian and CEO of Chesapeake Petroleum, was spending her own fortune without regard for any personal gain that I believe gave her the credibility to accomplish this.”

In a conversation with EWA, McCullough asked that her gratitude go out to the many friends of horses in government who helped her, including VP Biden, Frank Biden, State Senator Joseph Abruzzo, Sen. Tom Harkin (IA), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (FL), Rep. Tom Rooney (FL), Senator Mikulski (MD), Senator Mark Kirk (IL), Senator Dick Durbin (IL), Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Jessica Feingold-Lieberson and many others.

The success of this effort surprised many in Washington, since this budget has uncharacteristically little in the way of riders. Separate legislation will be needed to be passed to stop the export of US horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • WHAAAAAAA HOOOOOOOOOOO Heartfelt THANK YOU TO ALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BRAVO !!!!!!!Victoria MCClough ROCKS !!!!!!!!

    January 14, 2014
  • Nancy Albin

    Believe it or not I am speechless! I had the strangest dreams after reading this I was hiding the wild horses in the strangest places & getting in trouble for it & then it happened congress signed the bill to make it so wild horses were Free! & I had to go to all the facilities & open the corral doors burros, horses were all running for the mountains it was so beautiful & then my dad came up to me & whispered in my ear that they will always run free (my dad passed away 3 years ago) it was a strange dream but i am so happy i can finally breath & focus on life!!! My faith in our government in my Countries leaders will be restored my fingers are crossed Thank you Jerry Habitat for Horses for keeping us posted lots of love for you <3 & I am grateful for the people who have brought Freedom back to America!

    January 14, 2014
  • NLaurel

    Victoria McCullough is my hero!
    A big step was in proclaiming that the equine is a companion animal, and that the drugs given are not meant for food animals. Now, it ‘should’ be easier to make the decision that USA doesn’t want other countries eating our contaminated companion animals, making way for the SAFE act.
    Foolish, foolish people, are those who have invested so much time and money into striving to kill horses. They built their house on sand. I can’t be sympathetic to their loss.

    January 14, 2014
  • Ronnie

    We all get by with a little help from our friends ~. Thank you ALL! Change does not happen overnight, as we have seen. But if one does not stop, “miracles” happen.

    For the animals, it is a long, hard fight. We can get discouraged. It is expected. But we get up ready again for our sentient beings who have only us for their voice.

    ~*~ Amazing Grace ~*~

    January 14, 2014
  • Kristen

    This article is a little one-sided. It gives the credit to this one person when there were many, many in Congress, the Senate not to mention some of the larger advocacy groups had lobbyists on the hill. And why is she thanking Vilsack? He is the one who gave out the permits which started this mess, especially to the one in New Mexico, when he could have denied it. It’s distasteful and there is no mention of Jim Moran who has been tireless on this issue. A bit of self-promotion on McCullough’s part.
    Regardless, the horse advocates are thankful the horses are spared, for a year at least.

    January 19, 2014