Federal Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Slaughter of American Horses

Federal lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of inhumane horse slaughter operations within the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. 

Senators Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, S. 1706. The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Legislative Fund strongly support the legislation, and the House companion bill, H.R. 113, already has 150 or so co-sponsors.

“Americans don’t round up dogs and cats for slaughter and ship the parts of the animals to foreign countries. We shouldn’t do that with horses either,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “We commend Senators Menendez, Graham, Whitehouse and Collins for introducing this critical legislation to end horse slaughter once and for all.”

Each year, kill buyers gather up and send over 100,000 American horses to slaughter for foreign consumers. Horse slaughter is inherently inhumane, forcing horses to endure long journeys to slaughter plants without adequate food, water or rest. Due to the biology and nature of horses, these animals often sustain repeated blows or remain conscious during the kill process. In addition, the horse slaughter industry is a predatory enterprise. Buyers don’t “euthanize” old horses — they buy up young, healthy horses, often by misrepresenting their intentions, and inhumanely kill them to sell the meat to Europe and Japan.

The SAFE Act will prevent horse slaughter plants from opening in the U.S., and it would prevent the shipment of live horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter for human consumption.

The Humane Society of the United States is the most effective animal protection organization, as rated by our peers. For more than 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We and our affiliates are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 150,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read about our more than 60 years of transformational change for animals and people. HumaneSociety.orgThe Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at animalsandpolitics.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.

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