Animal Writes
From 12 June 2005 Issue

Horse Slaughter Amendment Passes U.S. House!

We've done it again! Thanks to caring people like you, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly -- 269-158 -- to halt the taxpayer support for the slaughter of nearly 90,000 horses per year. The Sweeney-Spratt amendment effectively eliminates the practice of slaughtering horses -- thoroughbreds, show horses, family ponies, and wild horses -- for human consumption overseas.

The successful amendment to the agriculture appropriations bill, championed by U.S. Representatives John Sweeney (R-NY), John Spratt (D-SC), Nick Jo Rahall (D-WV), and Ed Whitfield (R-KY), will defund USDA inspections at the three U.S. horse slaughterhouses as well as border inspections of slaughter-bound horses. All three slaughterhouses are foreign-owned companies.

"Since our nation was founded, we as a country have shared a special relationship with the horse," said Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY). "It is unconscionable that for decades, we have been using federal taxpayer dollars to support a practice that the American public is overwhelmingly opposed to. I'm pleased to see that my colleagues agree that this horrid inhumane treatment must end."

"If you've grown up with and ridden horses as I have, you develop an affinity for these special creatures," added Rep. John Spratt (D-SC). "They're as close to human as you can get in the animal domain."

On May 19, the U.S. House voted to support a similar amendment, by a vote of 249-159, to ban the slaughter of wild mustangs. Today's vote protects domestic horses as well, as there is no justification in slaughtering horses for human consumption abroad. U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-NV) has pledged to introduce a bill in the Senate to outlaw the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

Protecting America's horses -- domesticated and wild -- has clearly struck a chord with animal advocates nationwide. Congressional offices told us they were flooded with phone calls and emails asking them to support the Sweeney-Spratt amendment, and I can assure you that your participation has once again carried the day for horses.

With two victories in the U.S. House, our efforts for horses will now turn to the U.S. Senate, and we hope you will be there with us to end horse slaughter once and for all. If you would like to help us do even more to protect horses and pass other animal protection laws, please make a donation at

Thank you so much for helping us win another critical legislative battle -- and for helping horses to run free and live in peace.

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

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