Federal legislation introduced to prohibit slaughter of American horses, end export of horses
August 3, 2017 – Federal lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of inhumane horse slaughter operations within the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.
Senators Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, S. 1706. The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Legislative Fund strongly support the legislation, and the House companion bill, H.R. 113, already has 150 or so co-sponsors.
“Americans don’t round up dogs and cats for slaughter and ship the parts of the animals to foreign countries. We shouldn’t do that with horses either,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “We commend Senators Menendez, Graham, Whitehouse and Collins for introducing this critical legislation to end horse slaughter once and for all.”
Each year, kill buyers gather up and send over 100,000 American horses to slaughter for foreign consumers. Horse slaughter is inherently inhumane, forcing horses to endure long journeys to slaughter plants without adequate food, water or rest. Due to the biology and nature of horses, these animals often sustain repeated blows or remain conscious during the kill process. In addition, the horse slaughter industry is a predatory enterprise. Buyers don’t “euthanize” old horses — they buy up young, healthy horses, often by misrepresenting their intentions, and inhumanely kill them to sell the meat to Europe and Japan.
The SAFE Act will prevent horse slaughter plants from opening in the U.S., and it would prevent the shipment of live horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter for human consumption.