Friday, May 23, 2014
Senate Committee blocks domestic horse slaughter
The amendment to the agriculture appropriations bill, offered by Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and approved by the committee 18-12, disallows spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in FY 2015 on inspections at prospective horse slaughter plants.
A similar spending prohibition in the FY 2014 omnibus spending bill halted aggressive attempts by horse slaughter proponents to open plants in New Mexico, Iowa and Missouri. The Humane Society of the United States urges Congress to include the amendment in its final spending bill for 2015 to prevent those entities from resuming their opportunistic efforts.
Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer of the Humane Society of the United States, said: “The American people will never accept the idea of cruelly slaughtering our horses to be served up on foreign dinner plates. We applaud the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for adopting the Landrieu-Graham Amendment to prevent taxpayer dollars from supporting an inhumane and wildly unpopular enterprise.”
The ASPCA also commends the members of the Committee for approving the anti-horse slaughter amendment. “There is no such thing as a commercial horse slaughter plant that doesn’t inflict cruelty on horses,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations.“Using taxpayer dollars to fund this abhorrent industry is irresponsible and wasteful. We are thankful to Senators Landrieu and Graham for their strong leadership in advocating to protect our nation’s revered equines.”
While the Landrieu-Graham Amendment in the appropriations bill protects American communities from the devastating welfare, environmental and economic impact of horse slaughter facilities, it cannot prohibit the transport of approximately 150,000 U.S. horses for slaughter across the border to Canada and Mexico each year.
To address this issue, Sens. Landrieu and Graham, and Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 541/H.R. 1094)—legislation that would end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.
Sources: HumaneSociety.org and ASPCA.org