H.R.961 — the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2019 (or SAFE Act) — was introduced by Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky [D-IL-9] on February 4, 2019 and referred to the U.S. House Energy & Commerce and Agriculture committees, along with a Subcommittee of each.
At long last an anti horse slaughter bill was given a hearing — albeit a brief one.
Listen in. It begins approximately 4 hours and 25 minutes in — or, a few minutes from the Hearing’s end.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the Testimony presented on behalf of the SAFE Act:
“I am grateful to Chairwoman Eshoo for including the SAFE Act in today’s hearing,” stated Rep. Schakowsky, who introduced the Bill. “The SAFE Act is vital for the health of consumers and wellbeing of horses. Horses are ingrained in our national story and deserve far better than being exported in inhumane conditions for slaughter. Many of the substances used to treat horses are banned by the FDA, making horse meat dangerous for human consumption. As a lifelong advocate for consumer protection and animal welfare, I welcome the focus on this legislation.”
“Walk into any stable in this country and you’ll find ointments, medications and other products that are clearly labeled ‘Not to be used on animals intended for human consumption.’ Yet thousands of horses with these toxic chemicals coursing through their veins are shipped to slaughter for that very purpose,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “The process is a terrifying and gruesome end for these companions, as it cannot be done humanely due to their anatomy and flight response. The fact is American horses should not be on anyone’s dinner menu – here or overseas.”
Congress set to fail America’s horses again
It is a tragic state of affairs when legislation protecting American horses from slaughter —which a vast majority of U.S. citizens heartily support (upwards 80%) — fails from one Congress to the next. The 116th Congress looks to be no different.
How long this has been going on.
Horse Slaughter Legislative Timeline
The Fund for Horses has been recording a history of State and Federal legislation to ban the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption since its inception. It all began in California in 1998 . . .
1998 — 2002 (107th U.S. Congress)
2003 — 2004 (108th U.S. Congress)
2005 — 2006 (109th U.S. Congress)
2007 — 2008 (110th U.S. Congress)
2009 — 2010 (111th U.S. Congress)
2011 — 2012 (112th U.S. Congress)
2013 — 2014 (113th U.S. Congress)
2015 — 2016 (114th U.S. Congress)
2017 — 2018 (115th U.S. Congress)
2019 — 2020 (116th U.S. Congress)
There must be another way
We are currently looking at alternative avenues to end horse slaughter.
Congress has failed the American horse and its constituents repeatedly on this issue, and unless one of us here suddenly becomes a billionaire and can buy its passage, we are sunk pursuing anti horse slaughter legislation in Washington D.C. So we must look elsewhere because we the people have no true representation in the nation’s Capitol, which reminds us of the following quote.
President Abraham Lincoln famously stated in the Gettysburg address, ” . . . and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The citizens of America have been minimalized and marginalized by a majority of Congress, in clear opposition to Lincoln’s directive. We the people need to stand up for our right to be heard and our will to be carried out.
FEATURED IMAGE: President Abraham Lincoln and Horse Statue, Washington D.C.