Carter, Fitzpatrick, Katko Amendment Offered to the INVEST Act to Ban the Transport of Slaughter-Bound Horses Within USA and Over the Borders to Canada and Mexico
June, 8, 2021, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Troy Carter (D-LA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and John Katko (R-NY) introduced an amendment to H.R. 3684, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST) Act, which would ban the transportation of slaughter-bound horses across state lines or over the borders to Canada or Mexico for butchering. If the amendment passes through the gateways of the legislative process, it will effectively put an end to the slaughtering of all U.S. horses, wild and domestic.
While horse slaughter does not currently occur on U.S. soil due to a de facto ban achieved through the appropriations process, more than 30,000 domestic and wild horses are shipped to Mexico and Canada each year to be slaughtered for human consumption in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.
Transporting horses to slaughter across the USA and over the borders is unsafe and has caused multiple serious accidents on American highways. As recently as October 2020, 14 horses were killed and 11 badly injured when a truck driving the animals to slaughter flipped on a highway in Franklin County, Missouri.
The Save America's Forgotten Equine (SAFE) Act, H.R.3355, was recently introduced by Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), which would prohibit horse slaughter plants from opening on U.S. soil and ban the transportation of slaughter-bound horses and over the borders. Unfortunately, enactment of the SAFE Act continues to be an uphill battle due to industrial agriculture interests and pro-slaughter members of Congress. For this reason, the Carter, Fitzpatrick, Katko amendment was introduced as an innovative pathway to end the slaughter of American equines once and for all.
Within days of the announcement, the amendment garnered over 200 endorsements from organizations, veterinarians, and equine professionals across the nation; including equine rescues, U.S. horse racing leaders, and state horse breeders associations. The list continues to grow.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) urges the Interior Department to suspend its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Incentive Program over reports that some program participants have abandoned animals at slaughter auctions in direct opposition to the program’s requirements.
“I write with great concern regarding the New York Times article, which indicates that the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Incentive Program has provided federal incentive payments to adopters who abandoned these animals at slaughter auctions,” Senator Feinstein. “I strongly urge BLM to immediately suspend this program and conduct a thorough investigation to ensure federal funds are used to protect wild horses and burros against abuse, neglect, or slaughter, as intended by Congress.”
Full text of the letter follows:
The "Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act" Introduced in the U.S. House to Stop the Slaughter of American Equines
Congressional leaders renew their commitment to stop the slaughter of American equines
Today, U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced legislation to permanently ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act would also prohibit the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses to be sold overseas.
“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that has no place in America,” Buchanan said. “I look forward to continuing to lead the effort with Congresswoman Schakowsky to ban domestic horse slaughter and end the export of horses abroad for the same purpose.”
Congresswoman Schakowsky said, “For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride. They are our companions, work partners, entertainers, and athletes. With such a special place in our nation’s history it’s beyond time that we end the brutal practice of slaughtering these majestic creatures as food for humans. I am proud to reintroduce the SAFE Act with Congressman Buchanan and offer legislation that will finally close a loophole to end the slaughter of American horses for human consumption, both domestically and abroad.”
The Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act
The "SAFE Act of 2021" would amend Section 5 of the Horse Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1824) to "prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes". Specific language offered to modify the HPA include:
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