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Should We Ban Horse Slaughter Once and For All?

Should We Ban Horse Slaughter Once and For All?

Despite the horse meat scandal in Europe, several companies have been pushing to open the doors to the insidious practice of horse slaughter in the U.S., but recently introduced federal legislation could stop it.

The last slaughterhouses in Illinois and Texas were closed for good in 2007 thanks to an appropriations bill that pulled funding for inspections of horse meat by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2011, President Obama signed the Agriculture Appropriations bill without that provision, which reversed the previous ban. While the ban was in place, America’s horses were shipped across the border to Canada and Mexico.

Since then, companies from five states have submitted applications to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for permission to slaughter horses, while numerous other states and cities have taken steps to keep horse slaughter out.

The USDA has announced that it will process an application for inspecting horse slaughter operations at a facility in Roswell, New Mexico. If it is approved, Valley Meat Company LLC will be the first to slaughter horses in the U.S.

Within the past two years, Valley Meat was suspended twice by the USDA for violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, in addition to getting slapped with a fine for $86,400 for improper disposal of carcasses. It’s no wonder their action is being opposed by leaders of New Mexico, including Governor Susana Martinez, Attorney General Gary K. King and State Land Commissioner Ray Powell, D.V.M.

Fortunately for horses and consumers, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act was just introduced in both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), along with Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). This legislation will ban horse slaughter in the U.S. and ensure that horses are not shipped across the border for that purpose and is being supported by animal advocacy groups including the Animal Welfare Institute, ASPCA and HSUS.

“Horses are not raised for human consumption, and they are frequently treated with drugs and chemicals that are toxic when ingested by humans,” said Sen. Landrieu. “We must ensure that our food supply is not tainted with horse meat.”

There are currently 379 drugs that are commonly used on horses that are banned by the Food and Drug Administration for animals that are slaughtered for human consumption, according to the Animal Welfare Institute. A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology highlights the fact that at least one of the drugs regularly given to horses, Phenylbutazone (bute), is not only toxic to humans, but a carcinogen. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to track them.

It’s also unconscionable to think that the government would allocate money to fund USDA inspections for horse slaughter when its already cutting spending and furloughing inspectors.

While proponents like to continue arguing that slaughter is humane and necessary, there’s no shortage of evidence proving that both transport and slaughter procedures are anything but. The USDA has also previously estimated that more than 92 percent of horses entering the slaughter pipeline are perfectly healthy and sound.

“Horses sent to slaughter are often subject to appalling, brutal treatment,” Rep. Schakowsky said. “We must fight those practices. The SAFE Act of 2013 will ensure that these majestic animals are treated with the respect they deserve.”

TAKE ACTION! Please sign and share the petition urging Congress to pass the SAFE Act.


Related Stories:

Oklahoma’s On Track to Allow Horse Slaughter

Plans for Missouri Horse Slaughter Facility Fail

Horse Meat Found in Burgers


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11:55PM PDT on Jul 8, 2013

I could no more eat Horse meat than dog meat. What kind of creatures are these that can kill such beautiful animals, created by God thinking? Has the world gone mad, a quote from Lord Byron sums it up: There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; there is a rapture on the lonely shore: There is society, where none intrudes; By the deep sea, and music in it's roar; I LOVE NOT MAN LESS....BUT NATURE MORE. STOP THE SLAUGHTER OF HORSES, PLEASE.

4:34AM PDT on Jul 8, 2013

Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour of mankind rode upon a donkey whilst on this planet however He is to return mounted upon a white HORSE! The horse is a magnificent, regal, intelligent, loyal and hard working animal that has been revered and loved since time began. No way should people be eating horse meat, no way at all. Only animals with cloven hooves are said to be suitable dietary meat for humans and this by Almighty God maker of Heaven and Earth and every living creature and being. Stop being so bloody ignorant and GREEDY, and start doing the RIGHT THING by these enigmatic equines before it's too late . . . you'll stand before God and give account for your decisions . . He told us to "BE GOOD STEWARDS OF THE ANIMALS" and good stewards do NOT eat them!!!

12:15AM PDT on May 22, 2013

"So we can eat horse meat. Food is food and while the pet industry would have us believe that we need to keep supplying them with money the truth is these are food as well as transportation and leisure activities. It is short sighted to ban eating. It is that simple. Most people cannot afford to keep a horse. This is not the 1800's where there was plenty of grasslands for herds. people need to be practical and refuse to be over emotional."

By that logic, I should be allowed to kill your family and eat them.

11:41PM PDT on May 19, 2013

signed & passing it along 2 everyone I know

12:02PM PDT on May 17, 2013

Ok people we do not have to eat every animal on the planet. Really! Come on.

6:08AM PDT on May 17, 2013

Who are these people who voted no for the safe act. The slaughter of horses is inhumane and should end. Many beautiful horses go to slaughter and should be rescued. These people who have their horses slaughtered should not own one in the first place. They never gave a thought of what to do when their horses grow old and can't afford to put them out to pasture. We need a horse sanctuary here in America.

9:50AM PDT on May 16, 2013

So we can eat horse meat. Food is food and while the pet industry would have us believe that we need to keep supplying them with money the truth is these are food as well as transportation and leisure activities. It is short sighted to ban eating. It is that simple. Most people cannot afford to keep a horse. This is not the 1800's where there was plenty of grasslands for herds. people need to be practical and refuse to be over emotional.

12:24PM PDT on May 11, 2013

TO: Charles B. RE: Exactly WHERE do you think horses can 'roam free' without causing an ecological problem? They are non-native and invasive species in in North America and compete for what little free range remains with other native animals.

Are you opposing Congress: Ban Horse Slaughter in the U.S. for Good!? I'm confused with your comment. Respectfully.....B A......................PS I SIGNED THE PETITION

9:25AM PDT on May 1, 2013

signed, thanks for sharing :)

1:10AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

I do not think that we have the right to kill horses for meat . These people that do thids do it for money and don't care what these poor animals go through. We need a Goverment that care how these animal die, it is a disgrace and I have to say The Goverment does not think that being humaine should be take place. If they vote to keep the people from knowing what goes on then some people are getting kick backs in the Goverment. All animals have feeling they hurt and in their own way they love their off springs and want to care for them. If it was one of their animals that were slaughtered and see what these (men or woman) do. I say this loosely because if they can hurt these animals like they do, then they may be doing something worse. We need people who care to make sure these animals are being handled humainly.

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