Please continue calling the U.S. House to end horse slaughter

Girl talking on mobile phone. Free. Pexels.com.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (by Vivian Farrell) — The atmosphere was highly charged in the U.S. House Appropriations Committee meeting when it came time to vote on whether or not to continue defunding horse meat inspections. The House Committee voted the measure out of the Appropriations Bill 27-25 potentially opening the door for horse slaughter to return to U.S. soil.

Keep Calling

You knew I was going to say that, right? The title and picture gave it away. But here’s why.

It looks like we have the U.S. Senate. Let’s see what we can do to swing the U.S. House in favor of the horses.

Please check to see if your U.S. Representative has co-sponsored H.R. 113, the SAFE Act. If they have not, please call and ask them to do so at their earliest opportunity.

Whether or not the SAFE Act ever gets out of Committee and is successful, we at least have their public commitment against horse slaughter on record. This is important in predicting support and gauging votes. Lawmakers do check these numbers.

If your Representative has co-sponsored H.R. 113 (check here) and/or voted to keep the horse meat inspection defunding language in the budget bill (check here), please thank them.

My Representative co-sponsored H.R. 113 and I had yet to thank him. Calling him kept getting pushed to the bottom of my to do list. I didn’t feel too badly because it is frantic in D.C. for everyone. Then I came across a beautiful postcard of a mare and foal, so I sent him a quick message of thanks that way. Believe me, things like this do get noticed.

How about our faithful lobbyists? Please support them. They work 10-12 hour days. As we have already mentioned, nothing sucks the air out of the room faster than to hear lawmakers or their staff say they haven’t heard anything from their constituency on the bill our lobbyists are there to discuss. Nothing.

Here’s our handy list of tips and contact information. Thank you everyone! Keep up the good work. —Vivian

Contact Your Members of Congress

Know who they are? 

U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

Don’t know they are?

Locate your Member on-line:

U.S. House of Representatives: www.house.gov
U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov

To find out who your Representative is, enter your zip code (including +4) in the search function at: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Contact the President

White House Switchboard: 202-456-1414 (yes, it’s working)
White House Online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Tips for Calling Congress

  1. Don’t call “off the cuff”. Write something up and rehearse it a bit until you feel confident. Be sure to make the purpose of your call very clear, and what you want them to do. Relax and make the call.
  2. Give them your name and address (so they can identify you as a constituent or your call won’t count), your phone number and email address (especially if you want a response).
  3. To make sure they took your information down correctly, politely say, “Would you please read it back to me? This is such an important call for me.”
  4. Speak from the heart. Tell them why this is issue is so important and what you want your lawmaker to do.
  5. If you want a reply to your call, you must ask them for one. Otherwise they are not obligated. You might say something like, “Please have [insert name of lawmaker] reply by email telling me what action [he/she] will be taking on this issue”.

Wild Horse Slaughter

The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the Interior Department’s appropriations bill in the next two weeks which includes the budget for the Bureau of Land Management.

In federal budget bill the BLM seek to allow wild horses to be used as work animals with little to no oversight and restrictions.  They also seek to destroy 92,000 (their number) wild horses needlessly removed from the range and stockpiled across the country.

Call your two Senators and ask them to get this language removed.

Make a Donation

Please make a donation, any amount, to support our lobbying work.

Sign up to make a donation of $30, $5.00 a month over the next 6 months (cancels automatically).

Image Source: Pexel.com

Updated: 7/21/2017; 3:47 pm.

Senate Appropriations Cmte votes to continue defunding of horse meat inspections

Fund Horse, US Flag and Capitol Dome. Vivian Grant Farrell.
Fund Horse, US Flag and Capitol Dome. Vivian Grant Farrell.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 20, 2017) — The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted in favor of an amendment to bar any horse slaughter plants from opening again on U.S. soil.

Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., led the bipartisan effort, with fellow committee members Sens. Christopher Coons, D-Del., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., cosponsoring the amendment in a strong display of strength against horse slaughter.

The vote comes just a week after a closely divided U.S. House committee voted in favor of horse slaughter by two votes.

As the House and Senate committees are now in disagreement, it will be up to key lawmakers to resolve the dispute.

The intense bipartisan opposition to horse slaughter among so many Senators means advantage horses in a fight to the finish.

As U.S. Senator Tom Udall asserted, “Most Americans find the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption repulsive, and there is no reason the federal government should contribute to it in any way. This amendment is a strong step forward, and I will keep fighting to prohibit horse slaughter in the United States.”

House Appropriations Cmte votes against continued defunding of horse meat inspections

Fund Horse, US Flag and Capitol Dome. Vivian Grant Farrell.
Fund Horse, US Flag and Capitol Dome. Vivian Grant Farrell.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Although our staff and volunteers have been on vacation, our lobbyists in Washington, D.C. have not been. Far from it.

Our expert team have been hard at it. They are determined get the victory and battling hard on behalf of America’s horses in the nation’s capitol. And they have all the necessary tools to get this victory. Support them by making sure your lawmakers are hearing from you.

There is nothing so defeating to a lobbyist than to go into an office only to have the lawmaker or a staff member say they have not heard much from their constituents on the issue.

Thanks to you and your hard work that has not happened once over the past few weeks. So please do not be discouraged by the results you are hearing. We are in the early stages. This battle is far from over. We were expecting it to be very tough, and why we started so early in asking you to call, call, call.

Horse Meat Inspection Defunding

In a very close vote, the defunding of USDA inspections necessary to export horse meat for the next fiscal year was defeated by a margin of 27-25.

Here are the lawmakers who voted to KEEP the defunding provision that keeps horse slaughter from operating on U.S. soil:

Voting Yes to Continue Defunding: Pete Aguilar, D-CA; Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., D-GA; Matt Cartwright, D-PA; Katherine M. Clark, D-MA; Rosa L. DeLauro, D-CT; Charles W. Dent, R-PA; David P. Joyce, R-OH; Marcy Kaptur, D-OH; Derek Kilmer, D-WA; Barbara Lee, D-CA; Nita M. Lowey, D-NY; Grace Meng, D-NY; Betty McCollum, D-MN; Chellie Pingree, D-ME; Mark Pocan, D-WI; David E. Price, D-NC; Mike Quigley, D-IL; Thomas J. Rooney, R-FL; Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA; C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-MD; Tim Ryan, D-OH; José E. Serrano, D-NY; Peter J. Visclosky, D-IN; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL; Kevin Yoder, R-KS.

Here are the lawmakers who voted to REMOVE the defunding provision which would allow horse slaughter to return U.S. soil:

Voting No Against Continued Defunding:  Robert B. Aderholt, R-AL; Mark E. Amodei, R-NV; Ken Calvert, R-CA; John R. Carter, R-TX; Tom Cole, R-OK; Henry Cuellar, R-TX; John Abney Culberson, R-TX; Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL; Charles J. Fleischmann, R-TN; Jeff Fortenberry, R-NE; Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-NJ; Kay Granger, R-TX; Tom Graves, R-GA; Andy Harris, R-MD; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-WA; Evan H. Jenkins, R-WV; John R. Moolenaar, R-MI; Dan Newhouse, R-WA; Steven Palazzo, R-MI; Martha Roby, R-AL; Harold Rogers, R-KY; Michael K. Simpson, R-ID; Chris Stewart, R-UT; Scott Taylor, R-VA; David G. Valadao, R-CA; Steve Womack, R-AK; David Young, R-IA.

Horse slaughter has historically been a bipartisan issue.

Do any of the lawmakers voting NO represent you?  If so, remember them. Do not return them to office. Vote them OUT and replace them with someone who will represent your voice.

What’s Next?

Next, this Bill must make it through a vote in the full U.S. House of Representatives before moving on to the Senate. Keep calling — not just the U.S. House, but also the U.S. Senate. Whether or not your lawmakers are on one of these Committees, they will eventually be asked to vote on this measure.

Contact

Call your Members of Congress:

US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

Don’t know them?

Locate your Member on-line:

U.S. House of Representatives: www.house.gov
U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov

To find out who your Representative is, enter your zip code (including +4) in the search function at: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Call the President

White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Tips:

  1. Don’t call “off the cuff”. Write something up and rehearse it a bit until you feel confident. Be sure to make the purpose of your call very clear, and what you want them to do. Relax and make the call.
  2. Give them your name and address (so they can identify you as a constituent or your call won’t count), your phone number and email address (especially if you want a response).
  3. To make sure they took your information down correctly, politely say, “Would you please read it back to me? This is such an important call for me.”
  4. Speak from the heart. Tell them why this is issue is so important and what you want your lawmaker to do.
  5. If you want a reply to your call, you must ask them for one. Otherwise they are not obligated. You might say something like, “Please have [insert name of lawmaker] reply by email telling me what action [he/she] will be taking on this issue”.

Called them already? Call them again. Remind them where you stand. Tell them you are disappointed how this vote went and to make sure they vote to include the defunding of USDA inspections necessary to export horse meat in the Appropriations Bill.

Contribute

Please make a donation, any amount, to support this essential work. Sign up to make a donation of $30, $5.00 a month over the next 6 months (cancels automatically).

Other Issues

There are many bills pending before Congress that impacts horses and we are working on all of them.

The other issue besides horse slaughter that is weighing heavily on all of our minds is the planned destruction of wild horses and burros in the grip of the Interior Department. This is also part of an Appropriations bill, and has a long way to go as well. We must be active every step of the way.

This is a developing story. We will be back soon to update you.

Thank you everyone.

USDA warns Pennsylvania restaurant that serving horse meat violates federal law

PITTSBURG, Pa. — We have been following the story of the Pittsburgh area restaurant serving steak tartare made with horse meat. Because it was making national headlines we figured you have been following it too.

We write about it now that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has stepped in. It is interesting how FSIS handled it pointing out their concern — it is illegal to import horse meat into the U.S.

CBS News Pittsburgh reported:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has warned a Pittsburgh restaurant to not serve horse meat again.

KDKA-TV first reported that Cure Restaurant hosted a special dinner with Canadian chefs on May 8 that included horse tartare*.

Cure released this statement from chef/co-owner Justin Severino:

“On Monday night we hosted a collaborative dinner with chefs from Canada, a Québécois feast. One of the courses included horse tartare, which is traditional Québécois. It was sourced from a sustainable horse farm in Alberta, Canada. This dish was available for one night only and it is not part of the Cure menu.”

A USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service spokesperson says Severino received a warning letter for illegally bringing horsemeat into the country.

So to clarify, it is illegal to import or export horse meat according to FSIS.

SustainableTable.com defines sustainable farming as:

“In simplest terms, sustainable agriculture is the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare.”

How can the meat from any horse other than one raised in a vacuum be made fit for human consumption?

Horses bred and raised in modern day societies are given a myriad of drugs throughout their lifetimes containing known carcinogens prohibiting their meat from entering the human food chain. This is an established fact.

Inspections necessary to export horse meat from the United States are not taking place because the U.S. government chose not to pay for them again in this year’s fiscal budget.

Interestingly, the USDA shows in their move against the Cure restaurant that it is equally illegal to import horse meat into the U.S. and it’s not just a matter of taste for which the average American has little to no appetite.

Eater.com reported that:

The dish did not sit well with animal welfare advocates who have launched a Change.org petition calling on Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf to make a public statement declaring the practice of serving horse meat illegal. It’s since received more than 1,600 signatures.

H.R. 113

Take action. Contact your U.S. Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor and use their influence to pass the SAFE Act — H.R. 113 — that bans horse slaughter and closes the live export of horses for slaughter loophole. Here’s how »

H.R. 113 currently has 119 co-sponsors.

Let’s work hard to get a majority of the U.S. House to co-sponsor H.R. 113 — 218** — useful leverage in busting this bill out of all the Committees and Subcommittees it has been assigned to. Tough, but together we can do it.


Steak tartare is a meat dish made from finely chopped or minced raw beef or horsemeat. It is often served with onions, capers and seasonings (the latter typically incorporating fresh ground pepper and Worcestershire sauce), sometimes with a raw egg yolk, and often on rye bread.

** The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states.

FEATURED IMAGE
Cure in Pittsburgh. Bill Addison. Eater.com.