On April 19, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the FY2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill to prevent the use of taxpayer dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities. This measure would effectively continue the ban on commercial horse slaughter within the United States.
Introduced by U.S. Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA) and Charlie Dent (R-PA), the amendment passed the committee with a bipartisan vote of 25-23.
“This is an issue which is near to my heart. Horse slaughter is wrong, it is inhumane, and it is overwhelmingly opposed by my constituents and by people across the country,” said Rep. Dent. “We won a truly notable victory today with the passage of this amendment.”
“Horse slaughter cannot be done in a safe or humane way,” Rep. Farr added. “This amendment prevents the cruel treatment of horses while protecting all consumers from unsafe meat.”
Whether it takes place here or abroad, horse slaughter is inherently cruel and devastating, both environmentally and economically, to local communities. The ASPCA commends the House Appropriations Committee for once again recognizing how irresponsible and wasteful it is to use taxpayer dollars to fund this brutal practice. The last U.S. facilities slaughtering horses for human consumption closed in 2007—we thank Reps. Farr and Dent for their outstanding leadership in ensuring this grisly industry does not return.
While this annual amendment prevents horse slaughterhouses from opening on U.S. soil, it is not a permanent solution. Congress must also pass the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act—legislation that would not only ban horse slaughter on U.S. soil, but also prohibit the currently occurring export of American horses abroad for slaughter. Join the ASPCA’s Horse Action Team to get updates on this and other equine-protection legislation and help make a difference for horses and other animals.