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Permanent Ban Needed on Horse Slaughter to Save U.S. Horses Sent to Canada and Mexico

Permanent Ban Needed on Horse Slaughter to Save U.S. Horses Sent to Canada and Mexico

Name: Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2019

Bill Number: HR 961

HR 961, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2019, would prohibit the sale or transport in interstate or foreign commerce of equines and equine parts intended for human consumption. This measure would also prevent the reopening of horse slaughter plants in the United States, as well as ban the transportation of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. 

Because there are no longer any horse slaughter facilities in the U.S., horses being sold for meat are transported over long distances to Mexico and Canada, where they are subsequently slaughtered and then exported to serve as food for the European and Asian markets. These horses may be transported for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest, and often suffer from injuries during their journey. 

Importantly, since horses in the U.S. are not raised specifically for their meat, there is a high probability that they have been exposed to or injected with drugs and chemicals that have not been approved for human safety. Because of this, a ban on the sale and transport of horse meat for human consumption is a matter of public health safety, as well as one of animal cruelty, as horse meat is unsafe to eat.

While the U.S. has, in effect, ended the slaughter of horses for human consumption by denying funding for the inspection of horse slaughter facilities, this commitment must be renewed annually, lest U.S. horse slaughterhouse re-open. It is time that the U.S. made a permanent commitment to end not only the slaughter, but also the transport for slaughter, of these iconic animals.

 

Call to Actions:

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Prevent human health threats posed by the consumption of horse meat

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing in support of HR 961, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. Unlike cows and pigs, horses are raised--and used--for many purposes, including recreation, as companion animals and as working animals. None of these uses are consistent with the raising of an animal for food.

In fact, since most horses are bought at auction for the slaughterhouse, it is impossible to evaluate individual animals to know whether they have been given drugs or other substances unsuitable for human consumption, including deworming medication and hormones in large quantities. This makes eating horse meat a risky business. The consumption of horses raised in the United States poses a serious threat to human health and the public should be protected from these unsafe products.

This bill would also save the lives of horses by banning their transportation to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. These horses may be transported for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest, and often suffer from injuries during their journey. In addition, the callous treatment of horses at the slaughterhouse often results in their prolonged suffering.

Please give your support to a prohibition on the slaughter and transport in interstate or foreign commerce for slaughter of horses intended for human consumption.

Thank you.

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