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Agriculture Appropriations Must Include Ban on Horse Slaughter Inspections

Agriculture Appropriations Must Include Ban on Horse Slaughter Inspections

Name: Interior and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce, Justice, Science, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State and Foreign Operations, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2018

Bill Number: HR 3354

For many years, the slaughter of horses for human consumption was stopped in the U.S., not because of a law but because of a provision in the annual appropriations for the Department of Agriculture that had prohibited the use of funds to inspect horses under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996. This prohibition, in effect, meant that horse slaughter for human consumption could not be conducted, as facilities needed to have inspections by the U.S.D.A before they could sell their meat.

This year, while the Senate version of the appropriations bill, S 1603, included this prohibition, the House version, HR 3268, did not. Sadly, the one year that this provision was not included in the appropriations bill, three slaughterhouses applied to resume the slaughter of horses. Now, the text of HR 3268, along with a host of other appropriations bills for other agencies, have been rolled into a single appropriations bill, HR 3354. This bill is now being considered by the full Senate and is likely to pass. If it does, horse slaughter will have the green light to resume and expand unfettered in the U.S. 


Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to include a provision prohibiting inspections of horses in the final appropriations bill.
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Please Include Language Continuing a Ban on Funding Inspections of Horses for Slaughter

Dear [Decision Maker],

As you consider the final language for appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies programs, HR 3354, please insist that language banning funding for inspections of horses for slaughter be included.

For ten years, this language has prevented a resumption in the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Please consider that horses are legally defined as "companion animals" in many states. Furthermore, most horses are bought at auction for the slaughterhouse. It is impossible, therefore, to evaluate individual animals to know whether they have been given drugs unsuitable for human consumption, including deworming medication and hormones in large quantities. Moreover, according to state and national polls, between 81 and 93 percent of Americans oppose the slaughter of horses for food.

Please help ensure that language prohibiting expenditures by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect horses is included in the final law.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]