Horse slaughter ban included in proposed 2014 U.S. budget

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Horse in Fog
Horse slaughter is not presently illegal in the United States, but no commercial operations currently exist due to past regulations and an American public that is largely unsupportive of the industry. Players on both sides of the horse meat debate have been struggling for a decisive victory for years, but without a comprehensive law on the books defining the legality of the industry, a concrete answer has been elusive.

A recent budget proposal for 2014 released by the White House would help swing the pendulum in the favor of the anti-horse-slaughter camp. From 2006 through 2011, the agriculture appropriations law included language banning federal funds from being used to pay for horse meat inspections. Federal inspections are required for meat exports, and so without those inspections, the horse meat industry in the United States was shut down.

In 2012, the appropriations bill was passed without the horse meat inspection ban, opening the door for a re-emergence of an American horse slaughter industry. Business operators jumped on the opportunity, seeking to create a profitable business from what some see as a glut of so-called unwanted horses that would otherwise be exported to slaughter in Canada or Mexico. Currently, no American horse slaughterhouses have opened.

Surveys have shown that the vast majority of Americans are opposed to the slaughter of horses for human consumption, and elected officials are aware of this. The recent horse meat scandal in Europe has undoubtedly bolstered opposition to processing horse meat in the United States as consumers have become more concerned about the integrity of the food-supply chain.

In response to the horse meat debate, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has returned language outlawing commercial horse slaughter in the proposed 2014 budget. The relevant section states:

SEC. 725. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel to-(1) inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603); (2) inspect horses under section 903 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104127); or (3) implement or enforce section 352.19 of title 9, Code of Federal Regulations.

Because new budgets are continually proposed and approved, this wording would have to be included every year in order for the ban to remain in place. Legislators have regularly introduced bills to make commercial horse slaughter illegal, most recently in the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act proposed last month. Previously, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act was introduced in multiple sessions of Congress, but never reached a full vote.

Further Reading
Timeline of Horse Slaughter Legislation

17 COMMENTS

  1. I hole hartely agree that horse slatter should not be allowed. Horses have proven to be the backbone of america, carrying solders into battle to make this country what it is today. Helped farmers feed america by plowing fields, pulling doctor carriages, moving settlers to new territories etc. HORSES in my opinion should be americas symble not the eagle!!!! What has the eagle done for america? Has he fought In battles and gave up his life for us? Pulled plows to help farmers grow food? ETC!!!! Instead after giving their ALL, they are thrown away like a useless commodity. AMERICA should rethink about this and find a better solution to help these majestic animals that have done so much for this country. They give their ALL every day in every deciplin. They deserve a better life after all they give.NOT SENT TO A HORRIBLE DEATH!!!!

  2. I agree with NANCY and PKL. Horse slaughter should be stopped. Once and for all! It is sickening that anyone would “support” the murdering and killing of horses, whether inhumanly of “humanly” (there is no such thing as killing an animal humanly). The government if finally opening their eyes some to what is going on behind the curtains. NANCY is totally true about how the HORSE should be America’s symbol. NOT the EAGLE. ‘Cause what has the EAGLE ever done for us??

  3. Horse Slaughter is a corrupt, disgusting venture for anyone who supports it they are just intersted in MONEY period, the the horse most certainly not!! I am so thankful that this was added to the budget now if it will pass with out some sneaky corrupt politian some how erasing it like before?? BUT we need to pass H.R. 1094 this ALL has to stop HOW can our GOV>>> turn a blinds eye year after year to all of our horses being taken across the border and especially in light of the horsemeat scandle… You know last year was the highest year in our horses going across the border ever, makes you wonder does it not!!! We need to get this Bill passed we really do have this stopped once and for all!! THEN and only then maybe the Breeders will be more responsible and the backyard owners too!!!!

  4. Vehemently opposed to horse slaughter. Anyone who has ever owned a horse knows this animal has a heart & a soul. And those who haven’t have admired this majestic animals beauty. It’s a disgrace as is the slaughter & displacement of the wild horses in the west. All for money. Cattle owners. Disgusting. Where is the humanity?

  5. Budgets come and go, and zero funding can come and go. What will stop the slaughter of US horses? Passing the federal legislation banning horse slaughter for human consumption. Tell your US Congressman and two US Senators to support and cosponsor S.541 & HR.1094 now, the SAFE Act.
    Find your state, find your elected members in DC:
    http://votesmart.org/officials/NA/C/national-congressional#.UWhxAaKG2So
    Know that some 160,000 US horses shipped to slaughter in Mexican and Canadian plants last year. Passing this legislation would prevent that bulk transport.

  6. What is the difference between Horse slaughter and beef Slaughter? I have horses and love my horses. i would support the slaughter of horses as long as it is done human way like cattle are now. Must be alot of veggie eatten people in this world.

  7. Really a horse has a heart and soul……please do not tell OBUMMER..he will get them a voter reg card!!! Pro HOrse Processing and DAMM PROUD OF IT! You bleeding hearts need to get a friggin life….it is the best meat you can eat

  8. I’ve seen enough about horse slaughter to decide for myself that I 100% think its time to stop it. I think its truly disgusting. My horse will be with me til the end.

  9. Sicking the negative comments. Obviously these are heartless individuals who don’t own domestic animals or know anything about them. They should move out of our Country and live in countries that eat what we civilized people love as pets and friends. Our Horses and domestic pets have hearts, know love,have feelings,know fear and are very intuitive. If anyone harmed my horses or my dogs and cats they would feel my wrath and if anyone could approve of how horses are slaughtered in Mexico and Canada, they have no feelings at all. These are the same despictable trash that torture and dump unwanted pets on the road to die. We have several Horse Sanctuary’s that will not harm any horses and shelters that will not kill pets. Write Congress and demand safety and life for our National Heritage and Treasure, Horses.

  10. I’ve got news for you Bill from Wyoming, you better hope non of the Ranchers and horse owners in your State read your discusting and ignorant comment. The act of slaughtering horses has nothing to do with Obama, Democrats or Republicans. It has to do with the treatment of our National Treasure and the preservation of Horses. I am a horse owner and find you a disgrace to Americans. Bill, you are an idiot.

  11. I had to sell a few of well loved horses, due to the death of our son, but I really tried to make sure that the people who brought them, thought the saame as me, about slaughter. Many of the families had lots of kids, and the horses would become part of their families.

  12. There’s no $ to support horse meat inspections, the beef/sheep/goat etc inspectors have enough on their hands and the money used, out of MY pocket, should NOT be used for such inspections. Bill, you’re the idiot.

  13. 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

  14. I have been involved in the equine industry for multiple years now and have seen both the good and bad effects horse slaughter has had on the industry. I would have to agree that it is inhumane on how they slaughter these horses, but I disagree with the fact that it is cruel to these beloved animals. Because if you think about it; would you rather have them starve to death or be put down with in a minute or two instead of months to weeks of suffering.
    Also I want you to think about all the starving people in foreign countries. With all the excess horses in this country they would also be a great source of food, and maybe even help to put an end to world hunger since most of these horses are sent overseas.
    Lastly is that when horse slaughter was in affect it helped not only the slaughter industry, but the equine industry as well. This is true, because when there were no unwanted horses and more customers, horse prices rose, but now that everyone has a horse, prices have dropped. This has dramatically effected us who try to make a living in the equine industry. I have had friends lose their businesses and facilities and I would just like everyone to re-think their point of view on HORSE SLAUGTHER?

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