Livestock News

Horse slaughter ban included in U.S. spending bill


A proposal to ban horse slaughter in America for consumption overseas has been signed into law due to bipartisan effort by animal welfare advocates in Congress.

An existing temporary ban, which was set to expire Friday, was extended in the just-passed government funding bill signed by President Trump.

“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that must end,” said Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan.

Buchanan proposed an amendment last year to block funding for horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. Although the House Rules Committee failed to allow the amendment to be brought to the floor for a vote, congressional leaders subsequently inserted identical language on page 129 of the final funding bill that was signed into law last week by President Trump.

Buchanan is the chief sponsor of the SAFE Act, legislation to make the ban on horse slaughter permanent and prohibit the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses. The bill has been endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and has gained more than 200 bipartisan co-sponsors in Congress.

As part of the effort to get the horse slaughter ban across the finish line in the omnibus, Buchanan led a letter to key congressional leaders, signed by 20 of his colleagues, requesting that language protecting horses from slaughter be inserted in the final spending agreement between the House and the Senate.

Although the slaughter of horses for human consumption is currently not allowed in the United States, the prohibition is temporary and subject to annual congressional review. The renewed ban on horse slaughter in the U.S. will continue until Oct. 1, when the funding bill expires.

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