Safeguard American Food Exports Act proposed to ban horse slaughter

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While Europe is in the midst of a food-safety crisis after the discovery of horse meat in a wide variety of products labeled as beef, many Americans are wondering if something like that could happen here. One major difference between Europe and the U.S. is that no horses are slaughtered on American soil, reducing the chance of contamination. However, with the current potential for new slaughterhouses opening in the U.S., a bipartisan group of legislators has introduced legislation to end the possibility of American horse slaughter once and for all.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-IL) have co-sponsored the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act which would ban horse slaughter in the U.S. as well as shipping horses to other countries to be slaughtered for human consumption. On March 12, the House version was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Agriculture. The Senate version has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Follow the bills’ progress at thomas.loc.gov (Senate version | House version)
If passed and signed into law, the slaughter ban would not expire. This is a more permanent solution than the previous de facto ban that existed from 2006 through 2011 based on the agriculture appropriations that had to be renewed annually.

Members of the equestrian community are encouraged to make their voices heard on this issue. To find out how to contact your senators and representatives, visit www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with Sally, we should not be slaughtering
    our horses in the US or sending our horses over seas to be. I hope the SAFE act wins!

  2. I feel we need humane horse slaughter in the United States where it can be regulated by USDA. We had this here for years with very few problems. The problems occurred when Animal Rights groups found it was for human consumption. We have exported horse meat to Europe for human consumption since the 1940’s. There was USDA inspected horse meat sold in the US during World War II. There have been horses slaughtered for human and or animal consumption for 100 years. Most of the people sponsoring and supporting these bills have never owned a horse. They have seen 1 or 2 isolated incidents that the Humane Society has posted on the internet and to the media. I agree these are horrible, but they are not the norm. The rescues are not the sole answer. You can only hold so many animals in one area. People are taking advantage of donations and not providing proper care and feed for these horse in many, not all, of these rescues. The rescues are over crowded now. Where are the 140,000 horses that they say are going to Canada and Mexico every year going to go. The supporters of this bill say we are slaughtering young, sound, serviceable horses. This is not true. Just because a “killer buyer” buys a horse, does not mean that it is going to slaughter. Most, if not all, of these buyers also trade and sell horses for riding, breeding and working. Slaughter is the LAST resort.

  3. Looks like it didn’t work. And not sure it would have helped. The UK doesn’t have horse slaughter and yet it was found in their meat.

  4. There is a need for slaughter houses in the U.S. Many animals that are sick, injured or just plain Dangerous need to be put down. That’s just the reality of it. Food consumption should be monitored and studied but totally banning slaughter houses is just ridiculous. Sorry for the truth but it needs to be said.

  5. There is NO NEED for horse torture! People who have horses and Breeders need to be more resposible and if they aren’t we are always going to have horses that are abused!! I have a question for you all have you ever watched a video of a horse being slaughtered WATCH then ask yourself if you think this is a good practice?? It is so dishearting to think this is happening, horses have served us for century’s they are our companion’s our hero’s in the ring and running in the pasture!! THIS IS ALL ABOUT GREED MONEY PERIOD cause if you think one of these slaughter palces isd going to take a thin abused horse, think again!!! This is morally not right not right at all!! HORSES HAVE FEELINGS and they love, oh my god what is the matter with this picture!?!?!? Thanks

  6. We must support this legislation and stop horse slaughter in America and the transport of our horses to any foreign country for slaughter. If a horse is old and sick it needs to be destroyed humanely and not sent to slaughter. Where is the responsiblity from horse owners … stop casual breeding of horses and put your horses down humanely. Act now … contact your Legislators and tell them to vote for SAFE.

  7. It’s not for sure the ban will pass before the slaughter plant in Roswell,New Mexico murders it’s first healthy, beautiful, 1000lb horse.The owner was interviewed saying they don’t want sick, neglected,diseased horses, not good for bussiness. As long as exported horse meat is in high demand in Europe and Asia it’s pure profit. Get healthy horses, put them in a feed lot fatten them up and walk them down to the kill shoot without remorse. The more he kills in a day the larger his bank account. It’s not a question of providing a place to get rid of unwanted, old or sick horses not even a population control of wild herds, it’s WHY money on the hoof. There will be horse brokers buying what ever they can get their hands on if the price is right. Running semi loads S.W. for the all mighty buck. A new breed of horse thieves will steal any thing that can be loaded. Worst thought I can picture, is people breeding brood mares to death, taking weanling to feed lots for 6mths to a year and selling them for slaughter like beef cows. With slaughter on American soil for human consumption legal what would come next. Well why export if there’s a demand right here for a Quarter horse rump roast. Some body some where will demand their constitusional rights are violated if they can’t buy the meat they want be available at the grogery story. All that said what have we become really? What’s next, pit bull tasty bites, lab filets down isle 3. Why hell the streets and shelters are full of abandon pets.God will one day sort it all out but until then, speak out and pray, be a responsible horse owner and help support horse rescue farms.

  8. I am a person who wants to do anything I possibly can to help end horse slaughter in America. I have even written an essay discussing why horses are different than cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Please tell me where I can send what I’ve written and how I can participate in the fight to stop this cruelty!
    And Wally, there is no need for horse slaughterhouses. “Animals that are sick or injured”, as you put it, are not even safe for consumption so your justification for slaughterhouses is invalid. Also if the horse were dangerous there are many people out there who take problem horses and rehabilitate them. Consider them the Caesar Millan horse whisperers. No horse deserves to die. They are companion animals just like your cats and dogs.

  9. Horse slaughter is a means to and end for the pro slaughter, they say we have to many abandoned and abused horses since slaughter has stopped well my goodness they seem to forget it hasn’t stopped last year the number of horses going across the border was higher than ever… BREEDERS need to be more responsible and STOP over BREEDING like AQHA, since 70% of the horses being tortured are quarter horses, they hide behide the very horse they say they care about and BREED, SHAME on them all… Our Gov. gives tax deductions for their breeding business now that is an incentive to slow down right?? This slaughter is ALL about MONEY period GREED and corruption, can’t even wrap my head around HOW this is still an issue to begin with, how destructive mankind can be everything we touch we kill and destroy… Stop this destruction and inhumane killing of our horses!!!!!! They DESERVE our respect to a good live and death!!! I am just so so angry that this has gone on for so long unbelievable!!

  10. Horse slaughter is not only cruel and inhumane to horses, it is harmful to humans as well. In its lifetime, a horse is given medications and other toxic substances that would be harmful to humans and animals that consume its meat. Horse meat is not sold in the United States, but it is exported to other countries.
    Horses are beautiful, intelligent animals that bring joy and friendship into our lives. We need to protect these sensitive animals from being killed.
    Horses can’t speak for themselves, but we can be their voice. Let congress know that Americans won’t stand by while these precious animals are butchered.
    Please don’t be a bystander, be a rescuer! Follow this link to act today:
    http://act.wildhorsepreservation.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=13157

  11. This is a no brainer proposal. Horse slaughter is of course cruel to animal lovers, but from a more objective perspective, the meat from these animals is not safe for anyone. Horses raised for food should have to be managed the same way that we do cattle, with the same restrictions on medications and vaccines that would potentially contaminate the meat. That is a more viable way to get the transportation of horse out of the country for slaughter illegal. The repercussion of that would be that owners who want to get rid of their horses will have to have the euthanized, donate them to a rescue along with a donation, or abandon them (which is a criminal offense).

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