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House panel lifts ban on slaughtering horses for meat in the U.S.

July 12, 2017 | wild horse / wild horses

According to the Associated Press and other media reports, a House agriculture committee panel has voted to lift a ban on slaughtering horses at meat processing plants in the United States, opening the door for horse slaughter to resume in the United States if the measure passes Congress. 

The horse slaughter amendment is part of a larger bill that funds the Department of Agriculture for 2018 and still needs to pass the House. So it is urgent you call your representative in the House and tell him or her to support a ban on slaughtering horses at meat processing plants in the U.S. Visit for contact information.

We have a huge jeer for Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami, whose vote proved to be decisive, for joining the majority in the 27-25 vote that defeated an amendment to the agriculture appropriations bill that would prevent funding for horse slaughter plant inspections. 

According to the Miami Herald, Republicans from western states with large populations of wild horses were the primary opponents of the ban, arguing that current methods of controlling wild horses aren't enough.  Four Republicans, including Florida Rep. Tom Rooney, voted in favor of the ban while Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar was the only Democrat to vote with the Republican majority. The bipartisan amendment, which would have upheld the ban, was cosponsored by California Democratic Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent.

Appropriations Committee member Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, spoke in favor of the ban during Wednesday's markup, arguing that population control problems for wild horses is not a reason to open the door for horse slaughter.

"The inability to deal with that challenge does not make it okay to leave the door open for the possibility of horse slaughter in the United States of America," Wasserman Schultz told the Miami Herald. 

Wasserman Schultz compared the slaughtering of horses to the slaughtering of greyhounds in Florida, which she said was banned while she worked in the Florida legislature. Even though adoption programs for greyhounds didn't work, the state continued to find solutions that didn't involve killing greyhounds.

Roybal-Allard argued that funding horse slaughter inspectors doesn't have anything to do with controlling wild horses and only serves to benefit ranchers who want to slaughter horse meat for consumption abroad.  

"Let me reiterate the fact that this bill does not address the issue of wild horses," Roybal-Allard told the Miami Herald. "It deals only with domestic horses slaughtered for human consumption. Let us not fall victim to the notion that horse slaughter would be humane if somehow done in the United States because no amount of regulation will change the essential nature of a horse and make it a humane practice." 

The horse slaughter ban has mostly been in force for more than a decade. The ban is enforced by blocking the Agriculture Department from providing inspectors at meat plants that slaughter horses and is in place through Sept. 30.

There are currently no horse slaughter facilities operating in the U.S.





It is just plain evil i wish they would stop this and leave the horses alone

Horses are not raised for consumption. The usual horse medications are toxic for humans. These are companion animals, highly regarded in our culture. I have been in the equestrian world for over forty years, we universally oppose horse slaughter.

Welfare cattlemen want the range for their cattle, and would destroy all our wild horses for their own gain. The BLM is corrupt.

I strongly oppose lifting the ban on horse slaughter in the US. Horses are part of our country's backbone and built America. Our iconic wild horses are a symbol of freedom and must be protected. Horse slaughter is inhumane and we must not condone it.

How could anyone hurt one of these beautiful horses. No one wants to eat horse meat any more. It is not necessary. How could Americans allow these horses to get hurt. This is not the America I know who valued our horses. A horse is a symbol of early America.

Horses are not food

This is a disgrace I am vehemently against this practice!!!

It's disgusting to even think of consuming horse meat for food. Stop the slaughter, stop the round ups, and stop BLM!!! They are destroying our WILD HORSES & BURROS!!!!

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