It’s the very first days of Congress’s new session and we already have great news for horses! Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, bipartisan legislation to enact a permanent ban on horse slaughter in the United States and prohibit the export of horses to other countries for that purpose.
Each year, more than 100,000 American horses are trucked over our borders to Canada and Mexico without adequate food, water or rest to be brutally butchered for human consumption. Once at the slaughterhouse, horses are forced into “kill boxes” where they are shot in the head with a captive bolt gun in an attempt to stun them before slaughter—an imprecise process that can result in these animals sustaining repeated blows or remaining conscious during dismemberment. This is an appalling and terrifying end for these dignified creatures.
The SAFE Act was introduced in the House on January 3, 2017, by a strong quartet of leaders: Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Ed Royce (R-CA) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM).
While this is great news, the bill is not a slam-dunk: Anti-horse-slaughter bills have been introduced in each Congress for the past decade, and despite widespread bipartisan and popular support, none have passed both chambers and into law. We hope that the 115th Congress will make banning horse slaughter a top priority this session.
Please help us stop this cruel, unnecessary and predatory practice for good: Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to contact your U.S. representative in Washington, D.C., and urge him or her to cosponsor this critical bill to protect America’s horses.