WASHINGTON --The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for voting to prohibit the use of tax dollars to inspect U.S. horse slaughter facilities, reinstating a ban on domestic horse slaughter for the 2014 fiscal year.
The massive omnibus bill containing the defund language is expected to pass the U.S. Senate and be signed into law by the president later this week.
“The message from Capitol Hill is loud and clear on this issue: Our horses deserve better and this abhorrent industry will not be tolerated. Using taxpayer dollars to fund the inhumane horse slaughter industry is reckless and wasteful,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “We thank the members of the House for halting efforts to resume horse slaughter on U.S. soil and urge the Senate to quickly pass this bill.”
The defund provision was approved by both the House and Senate Agricultural Appropriations Committees as amendments offered by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and the late Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Congress regularly included a similar spending prohibition each year from 2005 to 2010, but failed to include the language in the 2012 budget, opening the door for a return of horse slaughter in the U.S., despite broad opposition to the practice. Several applications to open horse slaughter facilities have recently been filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa.
“I am incredibly proud that the omnibus appropriations bill includes a provision banning USDA inspections at horse slaughter plants, effectively prohibiting horse slaughter in the U.S.,” said Rep. Moran.
“These incredible companion animals don’t deserve to be callously slaughtered for human consumption. We fought hard for the past three years to reinstate this ban to prevent slaughter facilities from reopening on American soil. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of numerous federal, state and local officials, animal protection organizations, and dedicated citizens across the country.”
In a national poll commissioned by the ASPCA, it was revealed that 80 percent of American voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. Horse slaughter is inherently cruel and often erroneously compared to humane euthanasia. The methods used to slaughter horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses are difficult to stun and often remain conscious during their butchering and dismemberment. Whether slaughter occurs in the U.S. or abroad, these equines suffer incredible abuse even before they arrive at the slaughterhouse, often transported for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest, and in dangerously overcrowded trailers where the animals are often seriously injured or even killed in transit. The majority of horses killed for human consumption are young, healthy animals who could go on to lead productive lives with loving owners. Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were sent to a cruel death by a grisly foreign industry that produces unsafe food for consumers.
While the FY 2014 spending bill protects American communities from the devastating environmental and economic impact of horse slaughter facilities, it does not prohibit the transport of U.S. horses for slaughter across the border to Canada and Mexico. To address this issue, Sens. Landrieu and Graham, and Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 541/H.R. 1094)—bipartisan legislation that would end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.
For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.
WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced that the bill funding the government for FY2014 includes a ban on domestic horse slaughter. The ban prohibits the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using federal funds to inspect horsemeat intended for human consumption, effectively banning domestic horse slaughter and protecting the public from toxic horse meat. The provision, coauthored with Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is expected to pass both the House and Senate this week before going to the President for his signature. Sen. Landrieu added the language to the FY2014 Appropriations bill in June that funds the Department of Agriculture, which was part of today's funding bill.
“I am relieved that horse slaughter is now banned in the United States, protecting the American public from the very serious health and safety risks posed by horse meat. Slaughtering horses is inhumane, disgusting and unnecessary, and there is no place for it in the United States.
I appreciate Sen. Graham's partnership to ban this cruel practice, keep our food supply safe and save taxpayer dollars,” Sen. Landrieu said. “I will continue to push for the passage of the SAFE Act, which aims to permanently ban the slaughter of horses in the United States and prohibits the transport of America’s horses to other countries for slaughter.”
The ban included in the FY2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill would last for the duration of the bill. To permanently ban horse slaughter, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would permanently prohibit horse slaughter operations in the U.S., and end the current export and slaughter of more than 150,000 American horses abroad each year. The SAFE Act has the bipartisan support of 28 Senators. A companion bill has been introduced in the House by Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. and has the bipartisan support of 163 congressmen.
Press Release: Mary Landrieu, U.S. Senator for Lousiana
July 1, 2013 Press Release
SPRINGFIELD, PA – Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA-07) issued the following statement in response to the United States Department of Agriculture's approval of a domestic horse slaughter facility in New Mexico.
“I’m disappointed the Administration has made the decision to allow the slaughter of horses for human consumption to return to this country. This decision undermines the bipartisan work that Congress has undertaken to stop this predatory industry in its tracks," Meehan said.
"A measure to stop horse slaughter has been included in Agricultural Appropriations bills in both the House and Senate, and I’ve introduced the SAFE Act to end horse slaughter once and for all. Horse slaughter is never humane and poses real risks to public safety. The USDA should reverse this decision and await Congressional action on this issue.”
Earlier this year, Meehan joined colleagues in both the House and the Senate to introduce the SAFE Act, legislation which prohibits the slaughter of horses for human consumption and the transportation of horses overseas for the purposes of slaughter.
Congressman Patrick Meehan's letter to the House Appropriations Committee expressing his support for the Moran-Young Amendment that will prevent domestic horse slaughter by ending funding for the inspection of horse slaughter plants.
Four months after Chef Peter McAndrew made the controversial announcement that he was putting horse meat on the menu at his South Philadelphia restaurant, McAndrew has had a change of heart.
“I’m not going to do it,” McAndrew said. “I got a lot of
letters from animal activists and it really made me think.”
McAndrew, owner of BYOB Monsu Restaurant located at 9th and Christian Streets, says he was flooded with emails, videos, and letters from animal rights activists shortly after we published the story of his horse meat announcement in February. He says a majority of the emails included death threats and others contained graphic images of horses being killed at slaughter houses in other countries and at auctions where the
conditions were unsanitary. McAndrew says it was a wakeup call for him.
“I was aware that you have to get the meat from a reputable source but what I learned is that it takes a longer time to kill a horse because they are much smarter than other animals,” said McAndrew. “I saw a video where they had to use an electric bolt three times just to put one horse down. Any other animal would have gone down the first time.”
The meat is described as sweet-tasting and tender, similar to veal, beef or deer. In some cases, consumers say it’s hard to tell the difference. McAndrew planned to blend the delicacy into a few soups and hor d'oeuvres to help his customers warm up to the idea of eating something so unique at his restaurant known for its Italian cuisine.
Animal rights activists are outraged at the idea that horse meat could one day be served in your local restaurant. If that wasn't enough to sway McAndrew, a visit from Food and Drug Administration officials did. He says they performed inspections at all five of his Philadelphia-area restaurants last month.
“Their initial concern was to make sure that I wasn’t selling horse meat out of a back door alley somewhere which happens quite often. They just said ‘I would stay away from it if I were you’. I felt like I had the FBI of the food world on me. If they say don’t do something then I am not going to do it,” McAndrew told NBC10.com.
Some 160,000 horses are shipped from America to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered each year. Currently, there are no slaughter houses in the United States, the last one closed in Illinois in 2007, according to the Associated Press. President Obama, however, re-authorized funds for horse slaughter house inspections in 2011. A handful of businesses around the country are now seeking permission to open plants, according to NBC News.
Last month, Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, proposed a bill to keep horses from becoming a part of your food supply. “Part of our bill does away with slaughtering here in the United States for human consumption or the transport out of the United States for the same purpose,” Meehan said. “Horses are routinely treated with drugs over the course of their lifetimes that are toxic to humans if ingested.”
Though McAndrew has tabled the idea, he insists he will continue to introduce unique dishes to help his customers broaden their palate. “America is a cultural melting pot; you have to have a broad view of things. The Vietnamese have a taste for dog, if I was there I would eat it,” said McAndrew.
Activists Want Congress to Ban Horse Meat as Food
Horse Meat Scandal Ensnares U.K. Taco Bell, as U.S. Mulls Horse Slaughterhouses
Is Horse Meat for You?
Sen. Landrieu, Reps. Meehan & Moran, school children and other horse activists push for permanent ban on horse slaughter.2013 "Horses on the Hill" in Washington, DC
On May 15th, 2013, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan, D-Pa., and U.S. Representative Jim Moran, D-Va., co-sponsors of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, will join school children and citizen advocates on Capitol Hill for a press conference to kick off “Horses on the Hill.” Participants will spend the day pushing for passage of the Safeguard AmericanFood Exports (SAFE) Act, which will prohibit horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export and slaughter of more than 150,000 American horses abroad each year and prevent the public from consuming toxic horsemeat.
The event is co-sponsored by the Animal Welfare Institute, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the Humane Society of the United States. After the press conference, horse advocates - including local school children and young equestrians - will meet with legislators to ask that they permanently protect our nation’s horses from
WHEN: Wednesday, May 15 at 10:30 a.m.
Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.
Rep. Patrick Meehan, D-Pa.
Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va.
Bonnie-Jill Laflin, sports commentator, actress, horse owner
Wendie Malick, actress
Brittany Wallace, horse sold into slaughter, but rescued at last minute
Stacia Madden, equestrian and award winning show jumping trainer
John Boyd, president, National Black Farmers Association
U.S. Rep. Meehan, National Animal Welfare Groups Urge Philadelphians to Support Federal Legislation to Ban Horse Slaughter
Source: Animal Welfare InstitutePhiladelphia Police Department’s Mounted Police Unit
Press conference held at mounted police headquarters to discuss
animal welfare, human health concerns associated with slaughtering horses for human consumption
PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Police Unit was joined at its headquarters by U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and The Humane Society of the United States to garner public support for federal legislation to stop the inhumane killing of American horses for human consumption.
In addition to being terrifying and painful for the animals, slaughtering American horses poses a potential risk to human health. In this country, horses are raised for use in show, sport, work and recreation and are regularly administered drugs that are expressly prohibited by current federal regulations for use in animals intended for human consumption. There is no known safe level for consumption of these drug residues in horse meat, and most horses have no medical record that documents the type and amount of drugs received.
The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would prevent the introduction of horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were sent to a cruel death by a foreign industry that produces potentially unsafe food for consumers. Reps. Meehan and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., along with Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R S.C., introduced the legislation into Congress last month.
Rep. Meehan said: “The pending approval of the first domestic horse slaughter plant underscores the urgency of Congressional action. This legislation has bipartisan, bicameral support. It's time for Congress to act to ban horse slaughter. The partnership between Last Chance Ranch and the Philadelphia Police Department is an example of one of the many alternatives to the inhumane slaughter of horses for human consumption, including adoption and donation. Horse slaughter is inhumane to horses, it's unsafe for humans and it must end.”
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey issued the following statement: “The welfare of all animals is important to our department. Our Mounted Unit is an important component of our crime fighting strategy and another resource in building relationships with various communities. Therefore, preserving the lives of these animals is meaningful and beneficial for both
human beings and horses.”
Valerie Pringle, equine protection specialist for The HSUS, said: “Horses have served humanity in so many ways, including helping our law enforcement efforts. We owe these animals better than a cruel, terrifying death in a slaughter plant, and I thank Representative Meehan for his leadership in protecting America’s horses and consumers from this predatory industry.”
Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for AWI, said: “We are all humbled to be standing in the presence of the magnificent horses that make up the Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Police Unit. These horses—some of whom were rescued from slaughter—are hooves-on-the-ground proof that the overwhelming majority of horses going to slaughter are full of life and have value to provide the community. Surely we can provide them a second chance; we owe them that for all they have given us.”
Carolyn Schnurr, federal legislative manager of ASPCA Government Relations, added: “The overwhelming majority of Americans are intensely opposed to the cruel practice of horse slaughter, and we thank the sponsors of the SAFE Act for their efforts to not only protect public health, but also safeguard our nation’s equines. This predatory industry is actively trying to establish horse slaughter plants in the U.S., and it is time for Congress to permanently ban domestic horse slaughter and the export of our horses to neighboring countries for slaughter.”
The passage of the SAFE Act is a priority for the nation’s leading animal welfare organizations, as well as many veterinarians and equine groups across the country, including the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinarians for Equine Welfare and National Black Farmers Association. A January 2012 national poll commissioned by the ASPCA confirms that 80 percent of American voters oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption.