On July 12, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted 27 to 25 not to extend the current ban on U.S. horse slaughter facilities. Allowing the ban to expire this September would not only put up to 73,000 healthy wild horses and burros at risk for mass-annihilation, it would also allow horse breeders and owners to sell their animals off to kill buyers when they are no longer useful.
One week after the House Appropriations Committee's shocking decision, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of an amendment to continue to bar any horse slaughter plants from opening in the United States. These two decisions have left the House and the Senate in direct opposition with one another on this complicated and emotional issue.
Further negotiations will now fall into the hands of key lawmakers, but with both political parties, several Senators, and 80% of American citizens opposed to horse slaughter, elected officials are feeling the pressure to uphold the ban.
U.S. Senator Tom Udall said:
“Most Americans find the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption repulsive, and there is no reason the federal government should contribute to it in any way. This amendment is a strong step forward, and I will keep fighting to prohibit horse slaughter in the United States.”
President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle points out that the House Committee vote was the first pro-slaughter victory in nearly 50 years, and very likely a fluke. He asks in a Humane Nation blog post:
"If the worst happened and Congress gave a one-year nod to open horse slaughter plants, why would any savvy businessperson invest major capital in an enterprise that could be nixed in a flash?"
Pacelle compares investing in US horse slaughter to opening a dog meat restaurant or a cockfighting arena. The potential profits would be overwhelmingly outweighed by the controversy and red tape.
There is still another, far broader anti-slaughter bill on the table - the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2017. The SAFE Act strives to ban any horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States and the export of live American horses to Canada or Mexico for that purpose.
Click here to sign the Care2 petition to support the SAFE Act.
H/T to A Humane Nation Blog