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Summary: To amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes. (More Info)
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 2966) was introduced in the 112th Congress, which has adjourned. It has not yet been reintroduced.
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Died (Sep 19, 2011)
This bill was introduced on September 19, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.
The Humane Society of the United States applauds U.S. Reps. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., for introducing H.R. 2966, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, a bipartisan measure that will end the export and inhumane killing of American horses for human consumption across our borders. The bill was introduced in the House with 57 original co-sponsors.
“Although horse slaughter plants no longer operate in the United States, many thousands of American horses still endure the long journey to Canada and Mexico to be killed in cruel and unacceptable ways,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Americans don’t eat horses, and we don’t have to be the nation that is the pipeline for horse meat to satisfy the demand for a small group of high-end foreign consumers in Belgium and Japan.”
“I personally believe in the importance of treating all horses as humanely and respectfully as possible,” said Rep. Burton. “I look forward to working with Representative Schakowsky to end the cruelty after decades of effort to stop these practices.”
“I am proud to join Representative Burton in supporting this bill to put a stop to the cruel practice of shipping horses abroad for slaughter,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “As a strong supporter of animal rights and a horse lover, I recognize the need to protect animals that aren’t able to protect themselves. Protecting animals ought to be a bipartisan issue, and this bill is a strong step in the right direction.”
Approximately 100,000 American horses are sent across U.S. borders to slaughter each year. This represents 1 percent of the total population of American horses, as the vast majority of horse owners choose humane euthanasia—not long-distance transport and slaughter—as an end-of-life option for their beloved companions. States have acted to stop horse slaughter, shuttering the last remaining horse slaughter plants in the United States in 2007, and federal courts have upheld these state laws. Now Congress must act to stop the export of live horses for slaughter in Canada and Mexico.
The horrendous end for these American icons sold for slaughter begins at an auction. The journey to and across a border can mean confinement in a trailer at temperatures in excess of 100 degrees for thousands of miles without access to food or water. Once unloaded, the exhausted, dehydrated and often battered horses are recklessly shoved into kill boxes where they suffer abuse as workers’ attempts to render the panic-stricken animals unconscious cause additional suffering.
A recently released GAO report also recommends that “Congress may wish to consider instituting an explicit ban on the domestic slaughter of horses and exports of U.S. horses intended for slaughter in foreign countries.” National polls show that 70 percent of Americans favor a ban on the slaughter of these animals, which hold an iconic place in the nation’s history and its self-image. The HSUS joins Reps. Burton and Schakowsky, along with the vast majority of Americans, in support of this bill to protect our treasured equine companions from this cruelty by banning their slaughter for human consumption.
This legislation is long over-due and its time has come. With the emphasis on food safety, we have the opportune time to end the slaughter of American horses. U.S. horses are not bred or raised as food animals. There are no production records and no mechanism to remove horses from the food chain that have received substances that are banned by the FDA and European Union.
The U.S. should be taking the lead on food safety and should immediately pass this legislation to protect foreign consumers and more importantly, to end the continuous cycle of over breeding and culling the excess to a horrific slaughter pipeline.
Strongly support this Act because of the needless and cruel acts of slaughter of an animal that is not raised for food in this country.
We ask President Barack Obama and The United States Congress to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, S.B. 1176/H.R. 2966, which amends the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to prohibit the sale or transport of horses or equine body parts in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to process for human consumption. This Act will put an end to horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States, and put an end to the transportation of horses to slaughterhouses across our borders (typically to Mexico and Canada).
(1) Horses helped build the United States of America. Wild horses are living treasures and symbols of freedom. Most domestic horses are pets. Some have even become icons—such as Secretariat—who uplift the spirit and foster the American dream.
(2) In the U.S.A., horses are not raised for human consumption. Consequently horses are medicated with toxic substances that often do not pass FDA standards, making them unsafe to eat.
(3) We are against wasting tax dollars to fund horse meat inspections at slaughterhouses.
(4) Horse slaughter is animal cruelty—not humane euthanasia. When horses are slaughtered, they are often semi-conscious while the butchering begins.
(5) Humane euthanasia is a kinder way to end a horse’s life.
This Act will protect America’s horses and protect Americans against unhealthy and dangerous horse meat.
Members of Congress: We ask you to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, S.B. 1176/H.R. 2966, when it comes up for a vote.
President Barack Obama: We ask you to push for passage of the Act and to sign it when it reaches your desk.
More Info: Ban Horse Slaughter
It's time to stop the export of american equines to slaughter facilities across the border. The inhumane practices are abominable. This bill will accomplish that.
The Pro-slaughter claims are, that the slaughter of horses for human consumption is “humane” and “necessary” because of a huge overpopulation or unwanted horse problem. This may sound like a reasonable argument to those first hearing about it, but the reason for this widespread deception of the American public, is easily deciphered:
The business of Horse slaughter is not a service business designed to help us dispose of unwanted horses, it is a FOR-profit, demand-driven business, like any other business. The amount of horses slaughtered, is determined by the demand of horse meat abroad and by the contracts that the kill buyers have to fulfill, NOT by the amount of unwanted horses
While we are certainly going through harsh economic times, and nobody denies that we have an overpopulation problem, when you stop to consider the facts more realistically, it becomes very clear that horse slaughter is the anti-solution to the problem.
The truth is that the abandoned and starving horses are not the ones that end up in the slaughter plants at all, for the simple fact that their owners chose to abandon them rather than send them to slaughter.
The demand of the horse slaughter plants is for healthy, young flesh as this is the tenderest and fetches the highest price per pound. Therefore the killer buyers are in search of the young fat and healthy and leave the skinny, old and sick for society to take care of. Killer buyers bid against good homes and horse rescues at every auction all over the country, because they have contracts with the slaughter plants to fulfill.
In addition to the obvious motives of the slaughter industry, the option of horse slaughter in itself in fact has created, is creating and will continue to create an overpopulation problem, by enabling over breeding (lottery breeding) and encouraging a quick turn around and dumping of horses.
As a convenient and lucrative means of disposal, horse slaughter allows the large breeding industries to dispose of horses that do not have the perfect conformation or speed or strength necessary for their discipline. The larger the quantities they breed, the larger their chances of a winner, hence the term “lottery breeding”. The youngster that disappoints simply gets cashed into the killer buyer.
The most creative part of this well funded scam on Americans is that the very businesses creating the overpopulation problem turn around and use this problem to convince good hearted people to side with their cause. They are lobbying to promote horse slaughter as a necessary evil, and a “humane solution” so that these businesses may continue to produce “unwanted” horses and keep selling them pound for pound.
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) celebrated their 7 millionth foal, and reported over 130,000 foals in 2010. This hovers around the same number as the number of U.S. horses slaughtered each year. An estimated 40% of all slaughtered horses are quarter horses and another 40% are former race horses. These breeding industries receive both huge breeding incentives from their perspective breeding associations as well as huge tax advantages and write-offs from the IRS. This encourages breeding strategies that are not consistent with the demand of the horse market. Without horse slaughter they would have to adopt more responsible breeding practices and pay more attention to the market, and that would simply cut into some of their profits.
So while they make it seem as if they are protecting the individual horseman and as if they actually care about the welfare of horses, in all reality it is about pure and simple greed of the big industries, like it usually is.
To point to the closing of the American slaughter houses for the decrease of horse values is a cowardly deflection to avoid blame. Very much like the banking industry, the breeding industry is self destructing by saturating the market with low quality horses, and horse slaughter is their bail out.
The horse industry needs to get a chance to balance itself without the falsely inflated prices that the slaughter plants are willing to pay. Horses simply are not raised as slaughter animals, and have received many medications and substances such as phenylbutazone (bute) banned for use in slaughter animals, the meat is therefore simply not suitable for human consumption.
We have almost 10 million domestic horses in America. The approximate amount of 100,000 horses ending up in foreign slaughter plants are in all reality only 1% of the horse population. Not an insurmountable amount to be absorbed back into society as the pro slaughter “united organizations of the horse” would like you to believe. It would take only a slight adjustment of the breeding industry, to make sure that every horse in America can have a good home.
It is the want and need for human attention and praise that gives the horse its incredible versatility. It is these same qualities that are a major factor in the assessment of the amount of mental and physical suffering involved with horse slaughter.
The myth that horse slaughter is in any way quick or humane, is a wishfull, far fetched stretch of the truth to say the very least.
We gain nothing by it. Every argument for preserving the barbaric practice of horse slaughter, is greed motivated, un-factual and clearly deceptive. Horse slaughter is unacceptable and beyond un-necessary. It is time to find solutions to the problems we create without compromising our humanity.
Please co sponsor the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.
This legislation does not have adequate funding or infrastructure in place to care for unwanted horses and will therefore do more harm than good to horses and the horse industry. The bill restricts private property rights and eliminates owners’ choices of end of life options for their horses. Therefore SAOVA opposes S.1176.
The GAO report on "HORSE WELFARE Action Needed to Address Unintended Consequences from Cessation of Domestic Slaughter" starkly documents the decline in horse welfare, and the economic decline of the horse industry due to the inappropriate federal intervention that closed the humane and regulated horse slaughter plants in the United States.
Because of this the GAO strongly suggests that Congress may want to reconsider the annual riders attached to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that prevents USDA inspection of horses. Alternatively they suggest that the other option for Congress is a complete and total ban on horse processing or transportation of horses for processing.
As pointed out by the GAO, and as testified to by practically every horse industry and agriculture organization in the Nation, bills such as S. 1176 and H.R. 2966 that seek to eliminate any possibility of humanely processing horses offer zero solutions and will only exacerbate the suffering of horses, increase the number of needless and wasteful deaths, cause more abandonment, neglect, pain, and misery, and continue the destruction of an entire sector of U.S. agriculture.
Therefore, as U.S. horse industry members, supporters, and concerned citizens we call on Congress to take proactive measures to stop the needless suffering of horses and people by 1) removing the annual riders from the Ag Appropriations bill that prevent USDA inspection on a voluntary fee basis (the processor pays for the inspection) which does not cost the taxpayer a dime, allows for the overnight creation of hundreds of private sector jobs, and allows the entire horse industry to begin to regain economic value, viability and vitality; and 2) oppose any and all measures that use the heavy hand of federal intervention such as S. 1176 that do absolutely nothing to improve the welfare of horses, and only result in increased suffering.
For more information, or to get in contact with professional and knowledgeable horsemen and women please go to the website at http://United-Horsemen.org.
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