A new bill called The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act in the US House will not only ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States but also prohibit the live export of horses for the same purpose.
Washington lawmakers Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Il) will introduce a bill Wednesday that will put a stop to the return of horse slaughter on U.S. soil and end the export of live horses for slaughter.
A lawsuit and industry pressure is putting pressure on the USDA to start inspecting again. One company says it expects to open the first slaughterhouse in Roswell, New Mexico in May.
“These companies must still complete necessary technical requirements and FSIS [the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service] must still complete its inspector training, but at that point, the Department will legally have no choice but to go forward with inspections, which is why we urge Congress to reinstate the ban,” a USDA spokesperson told ABC News.
Another USDA spokesperson told the Int’l Fund for Horses that although the pressure is on to provide the inspections necessary for horse meat to be produced and exported, they do not have the money. “Anyone who looks at the news must be aware of the budget cuts and shortages going on in Washington. If forced to conduct them, it will be at the cost of food safety inspections in other areas of food consumption here at home.”
The new bill called The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act in the US House will not only ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States but also prohibit the live export of horses for the same purpose.
Unlike the defunding for horse meat inspections in the annual US Agriculture Department Appropriations (or budget) bill which must be renewed each year, a federal law will not expire and the new law would also close the export for slaughter loophole left by the budget bill.