WASHINGTON, DC — The first federal bill introduced against horse slaughter in the United States was HR 2622 by US Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (NY-27) on July 25, 2001, “To prohibit the interstate transport of horses for the purpose of slaughter or horse flesh intended for human consumption, and for other purposes.” HR 2622 was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and died in Committee. It had 8 co-sponsors.
That was nearly 16 years ago, and since then numerous attempts to outlaw the slaughter of horses have been made in the Nation’s capital. For a history of legislative activity to end horse slaughter, please see The Horse Fund’s Horse Slaughter Legislative Timeline beginning here.
Horse slaughter is not currently taking place on US soil because of annual federal budgetary defunding of horse meat inspections necessary to export it for human consumption. This provision has been successfully inserted into annual spending bills since 2005 with the exception of one.
In November 2011, a “minibus” Conference Committee (a combination of three out of the twelve appropriations bills covering agriculture, commerce, and transportation), stripped House-approved language prohibiting the use of US Department of Agriculture funds for horse slaughter inspections for Fiscal Year 2012. Subsequently the knives were out continually to re-establish horse slaughter on US soil until the next federal budget bill reinstated defunding of horse meat inspections.
This above measure must be successfully gotten into the federal budget every year to prevent horse slaughter from returning domestically and there is no guarantee this will continue to happen.
Importantly, this defunding provision while welcome does nothing to save horses from being sent across US borders for slaughter. Therefore, the slaughter of US horses has not truly been stopped. Hence, the necessity of a federal law banning the slaughter and export for slaughter of US horses.
SAFE ACT RE-INTRODUCED IN THE US HOUSE
On January 3, 2017, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16) introduced HR 113 — Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2017 (The SAFE Act).
HR 113 amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem equine (horses and other members of the equidae family) parts to be an unsafe food additive or animal drug.
HR 113 also prohibits the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts for human consumption and is intended to close the export to slaughter loophole as well as ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption on US soil.
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Congressional Offices Online
You can also contact your US Representative via House.gov.
Find your US Representative and use their contact form to ask them to co-sponsor HR 113.
If you know who your representative is but you are unable to contact them using their contact form, the Clerk of the House maintains addresses and phone numbers of all House members and Committees. Call (202) 225-3121 for the US House switchboard operator.
HR 113 currently has 86 co-sponsors. See them here.
If your US Representative has already co-sponsored HR 113 please let them know you also support it and thank them for co-sponsoring this bill and to please use all their influence to get HR 113 passed.
Please take the time right now to go online and support HR 113.
Thank you for taking action and giving a strong voice to our horses.
We will be back with more for you soon.
Last Updated: 11:40 pm.