Help Pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act

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Originally Posted: 7 Sep 2010

Help Pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act

[Ed. Note: Also read The Perfect Time to End the Slaughter of American Horses, 9/2/10.]

FROM Animal Law Coalition

Tell your Federal representatives to vote YES on H.R. 503 and S.B. 727 to prevent cruelty to horses used for human consumption.

Chris Heyde, Animal Welfare Institute, states, "Horse slaughter advocates have been ratcheting up their misinformation campaign so we must make sure our elected officials hear the facts from the majority of Americans who support an end to horse slaughter."

CONTACT

Contact your U.S. Representative

Contact your U.S. Senators

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

The Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act has been re-introduced in the House as H.R. 503 by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Dan Burton (R-IN). The Senate version introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is S.B. 727.

The same bill was introduced late in the last session of Congress in the House and passed the Judiciary Committee, but did not receive a vote by the full House before the end of the session in 2008.

Under this bill it would be illegal to "possess..., ship..., transport..., purchase.., sell... deliver..., or receive" in interstate or foreign commerce any horse "with the intent that it is to be slaughtered for human consumption". It would also be illegal under this bill to trade in horse flesh or carcass for the purpose of human consumption.

Violators face fines and jail time up to 3 years. If, however, the violator has no prior convictions and is moving 4 or fewer horses or less than 2,000 lbs of horse flesh, the jail time is only a year.

This section would be added to federal laws specifying crimes involving animals in Title 18 Chapter 3 of the U.S. Code.

Because this bill involves the federal criminal code, it has been assigned to the House Committee on the Judiciary chaired by Rep. John Conyers.

Anti-horse slaughter bills have typically been treated as agricultural legislation. In the last session, for example, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, H.R. 503/S.B. 311, was stuck in a House agriculture subcommittee. (The Senate version was on the calendar for a vote, but then Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) (yes, that Larry Craig...) threatened to put a hold on it if the bill came up for a vote. (Craig is now gone from the Senate....) Two thirds of the senators are needed to co-sponsor or support the bill to override a hold.)

This bill, H.R. 503/S.B. 727, proposes to amend the criminal code which means it is assigned to the Committee on the Judiciary, not Agriculture. If the Committee on the Judiciary can pass this bill as it did in the last session, it can proceed to a vote on the House floor.

Horse slaughter has been stopped in the United States by court decisions and state legislative actions. Horses are, however, still being transported to foreign countries, primarily Mexico and Canada, for slaughter. Only a federal law can stop this tragedy.

Chris Heyde, Animal Welfare Institute, states, "Horse slaughter advocates have been ratcheting up their misinformation campaign so we must make sure our elected officials hear the facts from the majority of Americans who support an end to horse slaughter."


Thank you for everything you do for animals!