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.

Tracking Canada’s horse slaughter trade from Alberta to Japan

'Breakway' by Robert Spaith was previously situated in the Domestic Terminal Building, but now graces the Arrivals Level in the new terminal. Image source: Calgary International Airport.
‘Breakway’ by Robert Spaith was previously situated in the Domestic Terminal Building, but now graces the Arrivals Level in the new terminal. Image source: Calgary International Airport.

HORSE SLAUGHTER. Source Article: VICE. By Anna Brooks (June 15, 2017) — Walking through the Calgary International Airport, you’ll pass a bronze statue of wild horses running.

Entitled “Breakaway,” the immortalized horses were intended to be a metaphor for Calgary’s spirit and strength.

But there’s another story of horses at the Calgary airport, a story some veterinarians are calling a “huge animal welfare issue.”

For years, animal advocacy groups like the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) have opposed the transport of live draft horses to Japan for slaughter. In Canada, alongside Mexico and parts of Europe, this practice is legal, unlike countries like the US where horse slaughterhouses are banned.

According to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents obtained by the CHDC and provided to VICE, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) banned shipping draft horses—a breed that can weigh more than a thousand pounds. Canadian Horse Defence Coalition image.
According to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents obtained by the CHDC and provided to VICE, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) banned shipping draft horses—a breed that can weigh more than a thousand pounds. Canadian Horse Defence Coalition image.

Horse meat is a delicacy in Japan, and places like Kumamoto specialize in fresh dishes like basashi—horse sashimi. Horse oil is also a sought after beauty product in Hokkaido, where it’s used to treat wrinkles, acne, and sunburns.

Slaughtering and selling horse meat has been outlawed in the US, whereas in Canada, there are four active federal slaughterhouses producing horse meat for human consumption—two of which are in Alberta.

While most of Canada’s horse meat is exported to countries around the world, horse meat is still locally available, especially in Quebec.

While groups like the CHDC had hoped to see horse exports decline over the years, recent data from Statistics Canada show 1,350 live horses exported as a commodity to Japan between January and March 2017, a batch valued at more than $2.6 million.

The number of live horses shipped from Canada to Japan has dropped since January, but prices per horse have increased; according to Statistics Canada, the average price per horse in February 2017 was $1,451, compared to March’s average of $4,136.

Read full article for more »

Take Action Canada

Prime Minister

Contact the Canadian Prime Minister and include in your personal message that (1) you are opposed to the live shipment of horses for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption and (2) to please see that existing regulations against the live transport of draft horses are enforced.

Health Minister

Contact the Health Minister who oversees the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and politely deliver the same message as above.

Please share everywhere. Let’s do this in numbers on behalf of these horses. Thank you.

Related Reading

Horses are still being shipped live from Canada to Japan to make specialty sashimi; Tuesday’s Horse; April 2017

Ireland and China agree deal to allow direct export of horses

Irish bred Thoroughbred Mare and Foal. ~ The Flint Gallery.
Irish bred Thoroughbred Mare and Foal. ~ The Flint Gallery.

IRELAND (Horse Racing) — Chinese plans to develop racing and breeding industry is ‘good news’ for sector in Ireland declares The Irish Times, who interestingly filed this article in its “agribusiness and food” section.

The Republic and China have agreed a deal that will allow direct export of horses from here [Ireland] to the world’s second biggest economy, paving the way for a potentially lucrative trade in bloodstock.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed yesterday that it has agreed a deal with the authorities in the People’s Republic of China that will allow quarantine and pre-export approval of horses bound for Asian economic giant to take place in the Republic under the supervision of its vets.

Up to now, any horses sent to China had to undergo quarantine in the Netherlands, an arrangement that added to Irish exporters’ costs.

The deal confirmed yesterday was the next step from a protocol signed last year by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and vice-minister Wei Chuanzhong, where the two agreed that Irish horses could be exported to China subject to a quarantine period in an Irish facility approved by Mr Coveney’s department.

Key Sectors

All types of horses are covered, but one of the key sectors expected to benefit from the move is thoroughbred breeding. China is planning to develop its racing and breeding industries, lead by a project at Tianjin, where there are plans to invest $2 billion in a complex that will include a racecourse, training facilities and stud farming.

The Chinese authorities last year chose Irish bloodstock empire, Coolmore Stud, which has operations in Tipperary, the US and Australia, as a partner in the project.

Coolmore will provide 100 broodmares, sourced in Ireland, to Tianjin over a three-year period to help establish a breeding programme at the centre. There are also plans to acquire stallions for its stud farm.

The Tipperary-based operation, headed by John Magnier, is one of the world’s leading stud farm and racehorse breeding businesses. It owns leading European stallion, Galileo, and champion Australian sire, Fastnet Rock, among others.

* * *

In a seemingly unrelated story, Australia are considering the export of horses overseas for slaughter. As stated above, “The Chinese authorities last year chose Irish bloodstock empire, Coolmore Stud, which has operations in Tipperary, the US and Australia, as a partner in the project.”