US Rep Meehan to make anti-horse slaughter pitch in Philly

Cross-posted from the Philadelphia Inquirer at Philly.com

WRITTEN BY AMY WORDEN

U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan (R, PA). Flickriver image.
U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan (R, PA). Flickriver image.

With signs suggesting that the federal government will give the green light to the opening of the nation’s first horse slaughter plant since 2007, U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., PA) is heading to Philadelphia to urge fellow lawmakers to pass his bill banning the killing of horses for human consumption.

Meehan is expected to join representatives from animal welfare organizations Friday afternoon at the headquarters of the newly-revived Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Unit

The slaughter plant, slated to open in Roswell, New Mexico pending approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The owners of plant, Valley Meat Products, have sued the USDA, saying the agency is dragging its heels on permits.

This is the company, by the way, that employed a man who shot a horse while on camera as a warning to animal rights activists. The man, Tim Sappington, was fired but was not charged with animal cruelty. (Graphic video posted here on Huffington Post.)

Meehan led a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from both the House and the Senate last month to introduce H.R. 1094, the SAFE Act, which bans horse slaughter for human consumption and prohibits the transportation of horses for purposes of consumption. Currently thousands of U.S. horses are shipped to plants in Mexico and Canada every month to be slaughtered for meat sold in Japan and Europe.

The Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Unit has partnered with Last Chance Ranch to rescue horses from potential slaughter. Horses threatened by slaughter are adopted by the mounted unit and receive training and veterinary care during their service with the police department, Meehan said in a press release. Read more >>

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2 thoughts on “US Rep Meehan to make anti-horse slaughter pitch in Philly”

  1. I wish the discussion was not focused on the end. Why could there not be legislation rotating or requiring limits on breeding? There are so many horses, none of which I want slaughtered, but preventing there birth should also be part of the discussion.

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    1. Karen, the reason the AQHA is pushing so hard to reopen US slaughterhouses is they encourage their breeders to overbreed, by giving them incentives, so they can collect the registration fees for the foals. AQHA breeders will breed 100 mares, keep the two best ones and send the rest to slaughter. Slaughter is in their business model., they actually make money on it. That’s why 70% of slaughtered horses are Quarter Horses. Horse slaughter is what encourages overbreeding. But breeders only breed what they know they can sell, either to a prospective owner or a killer buyer. When the SAFE Act bans horse slaughter and the transport of horses to slaughter, the breeders will be forced to stop overbreeding because they’ll be afraid of ending up with excess foals they’ll have to feed and be responsible for.

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