Horse slaughter plants in the United States were closed in 2007 when funding for USDA meat inspection was halted through the appropriations approval process. Horse slaughter inspections will remain unfunded through September 30, 2017, when the current fiscal year will end.
On July 20, the Senate Committee on Appropriations voted in favor of an amendment offered by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to defund the USDA’s inspection of horse slaughter. That would prohibit funding of meat inspectors for U.S. horse slaughter.
Today's vote for the Udall-Graham Amendment means the Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations Bill may move forward with language limiting USDA action in the inspection of animals, facilities or products associated with horse slaughter.
However, on July 12 the House Appropriations Committee voted against a similar amendment that would defund USDA inspection of horse slaughter, setting the stage for possible negotiations on the final spending bill.
Further information will be available when approval for the FY18 Appropriations are finalized.
The American Horse Council has not taken a position on horse slaughter as the equine industry remains divided on this issue. Please contact the American Horse Council for further information.