[Ed. Note: Please read June 2011 GAO Report on Cessation of Domestic Horse Slaughter
to understand why the end of horse slaughter IS the best thing
of course for the horses, but also for our economy.]
Fund for Horses
Please contact your two U.S. Senators and respectfully urge
them to co-sponsor and vote yes for S. 1176, the American Horse
Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011.
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
A BILL entitled the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
of 2011 (S. 1176) was introduced in the United States Senate,
Thursday, June 9, 2011, by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with 14 originating co-sponsors.
S. 1176 makes it illegal to transport horses to slaughter for
In separate articles published in The Hill days before S.
1176 was introduced, both Rep. Raúl Grijalva and Rep. Jim Moran
threw down the gauntlet regarding horse slaughter.
Grijalva stated that horse slaughter has been off the
Washington radar too long, and Moran that the United States
should get out of the horse meat business.
If successful, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of
2011 will do just that.
If you require a better understanding why the slaughter of
horses for human consumption should be banned, then look no
further than Congressman Jim Moran’s article in The Hill for a
clear, concise explanation. I doubt you will find a better one:
US should get out of the horse meat business
By Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) - 06/07/11 07:25 PM ET
Since 2006, horse slaughter has been banned in the U.S.
In the annual agriculture appropriations bill, language with
bipartisan support has been carried that eliminates federal
funding for any activity involving the inspection of horse
meat for human consumption. This restriction has effectively
closed horse slaughter for human consumption facilities in
the U.S. But this year the language was not included by the
subcommittee for the first time in five years.
Last week, I introduced an amendment during full
committee markup to restore the ban on horse slaughter in
the U.S. The language was approved, but a floor fight on the
issue looms in the near future. I hope to convince more of
my colleagues of the need to continue to uphold current law
making this inappropriate practice off-limits.
Horse slaughter is not humane. Horses are not raised in
the U.S. for human consumption. Just like other animals,
sick and old horses are not valued as a food source. The
USDA estimates that more than 92 percent of horses sent to
slaughter in the past were healthy and could have continued
to be productive animals.
While horse meat is considered a delicacy in some countries,
it is not in the U.S. There are moral implications for
allowing a practice that upwards of nearly three-quarters of
the American people oppose. Just because there is a market
for horse meat in some countries does not mean the U.S. must
be their supplier. There is a market for dog meat in some
societies, too, and an overpopulation of them in the U.S.
Should man’s best friend face a similar fate? Of course not,
and the same principle should hold true for horses.
Some will argue that the states should set and determine
regulations for the inspection of horse meat. Anyone
familiar with Upton Sinclair’s famous work The Jungle knows
the federal government has a long history of involvement in
meat inspection — for good reason. Should the current ban be
lifted, federal inspections of horse-slaughter facilities
would come with an annual $5 million price tag. Only foreign
corporations, which deal in horse meat for consumption in
foreign markets, would benefit from these inspections. While
I believe everyone should have access to safe food, I
question that we would use our limited resources to focus on
ensuring the quality of a meat for foreign consumers that
most Americans don’t consider appropriate to eat.
Aside from the moral and cultural concerns regarding the
sale of American horse meat, there are serious health
concerns for individuals who consume horses raised in the
U.S. A recent FDA toxicity report found that substances
routinely given to American horses can cause dangerous
adverse effects in humans. One example is phenylbutazone,
also known as “bute,” the most common anti-inflammatory
given to horses. The only way to ensure these harmful
substances do not make it into the food supply is to prevent
horse meat from entering the market.
For centuries, horses have played an important role in
our nation’s history and culture. Horses were the respected
companions of Paul Revere and John Wayne. They were critical
to our expansion into the West, aided in the development of
agriculture and provide us entertainment and recreation. I
agree with the overwhelming number of Americans who reject
horse slaughter and will continue working with my colleagues
to push to continue the restriction of this inhumane
Moran serves as ranking member on the House
Appropriations Interior and Environment subcommittee and
co-chairs the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!