Horse Slaughter Legislation Update

The ban on slaughtering horses

On September 19, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee included a provision in the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill which would maintain a ban on slaughtering horses in the U.S. This effort was led by Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Susan Collins (R-ME). The bill’s language disallows the use of taxpayer dollars for horse slaughter inspections, which prevents horse slaughter plants from operating.

Similar language was included in the House FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill in June. Right now, it is expected the defund will be included in any final spending bill passed by Congress.

Horse slaughter is animal cruelty, unnecessary, and taxpayer dollars should not pay for it. America’s horses are not food animals and are not regulated as such. There are over 115 banned substances for use in food animals which appear in a variety of products and medications used on horses.

America’s horses are unfit for human consumption.

Previously, U.S. horse slaughter plants operated until 2007 and were shipping the meat overseas for human consumption. Some horses were shipped into Mexico and Canada for slaughter as well. When U.S. plants closed, all horses were sent to Mexican and Canadian plants (along with several hundred annually into Japan).

Slaughter is a frightening and torturous ordeal for horses who are victims of this predatory industry. Many horses are severely injured during transport from auctions or kill lots to horse slaughter plants. Some horses regain consciousness after initial stunning or misfired gunshot (2 methods used in the kill box) and are fully aware while being killed.

The language to defund horse slaughter has been maintained via yearly spending bills; however, it is not a permanent solution. At this time only federal legislation which specifically outlaws U.S. horses from being slaughtered on American soil and across our borders will end this vile trade.