Washington, DC – An amendment introduced by Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat and Co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, to effectively ban the practice of horse slaughter for human consumption passed the full Appropriations Committee by a voice vote. The provision will be included in the Fiscal Year 2014 Agricultural Appropriations
Bill when it goes to the full House.
“Approval by the Appropriations Committee is the first important step in ending this inhumane practice once and for all. Today’s approval also sends a strong signal to businesses looking to make a profit off the slaughter and sale of these iconic creatures,” said Rep. Moran. “More than 80 percent of the American people oppose the practice of horse slaughter – our laws need to sync with our values.”
Specifically, the provision would prevent any funds from going to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct meat inspections at horse slaughter facilities. Without inspections, the practice of horse slaughter for human consumption is effectively banned. Moran’s amendment would reinstate the five-year ban on horse slaughter that was in place from 2006-2011.
During debate, Rep. Moran highlighted the proposed $31 million cut to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, calling it irresponsible to expand the agency’s scope of inspections while reducing its resources. Moran also noted that U.S. horse meat often contains harmful chemicals, such as the anti-inflammatory pain killing drug phenylbutazone, that the FDA requires to be
labeled “not for use in animals that will be eaten by humans.”
Polls show that 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter for human consumption. Recent surveys have found that 67 percent of Oklahoma residents and 70 percent of New Mexico residents, two states where new slaughter plants could open, do not support horse slaughter in their state.
Moran introduced similar language to the FY ’12 Agricultural Appropriations Bill. Though adopted in the full House, the language was removed during conference committee in November. The FY’13 Agricultural Appropriations Bill also included a similar Moran amendment, but Congress failed to arrive at a compromise for FY’13 funding bills, instead operating from the FY’12 bill that does not contain the ban.