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June 19, 2012

House Appropriations Committee Votes to Strip Funds for Inspections of U.S. Horse Slaughter Plants

By a voice vote, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., to block spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect U.S. horse slaughter plants in Fiscal Year 2013. The spending prohibition had been in place since 2005, but was not renewed last year by a joint House-Senate conference committee, leading to concerns that horse slaughter plants could reopen within the U.S. at the cost of about $5 million annually to U.S. taxpayers.

“Adding millions of dollars to the federal budget to inspect foreign-owned horse slaughter plants would be a step backwards for America’s iconic horses and a waste of tax dollars,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Congressman Jim Moran for leading the charge to restore this critical horse protection provision, and to the House Appropriations Committee for reining in this multi-million-dollar subsidy that could pave the way for the needless killing of American horses for foreign gourmands.”

“Industrial slaughter of horses should not be condoned by the United States Government,” said Rep. Moran. “We have to put an end once and for all to this practice. These animals are a proud symbol of the American West, treasured by all for their beauty and majesty. They deserve to be cared for, not killed for foreign consumption.”

When horse slaughter was allowed in the U.S., more than 92 percent of horses going to slaughter were healthy and in good condition. Many horse rescue groups bid on horses at auctions, but are outbid by “killer buyers” who can profit by selling horse meat. Because horses are not raised for human consumption, and the animals going to slaughter may be former race horses, carriage horses or family ponies, they are often treated with drugs and medications that can endanger the food supply.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, H.R. 2966, introduced last year by Reps. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., is a bipartisan measure that will end the export and inhumane killing of American horses for human consumption across our borders. The bill currently has 165 co-sponsors.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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