The Humane Society of the United States today announced U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, as its Humane Horseman of the Year. Each year, the group bestows the award on an individual who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to protect American equines. Sen. Graham is being recognized for his ongoing leadership to protect horses and burros from cruelty.
Since 2011, Sen. Graham has led efforts to pass legislation to ban horse slaughter operations in the U.S. and end the export of American horses and burros for slaughter in Canada and Mexico. He has also been a leader on legislation to prevent tax dollars from being wasted to open horse slaughter plants in the U.S. “Kill buyers” acquire healthy horses from random sources and truck them long distances often without food, water or rest. These buyers have also been known to steal or deceive unsuspecting horse owners to obtain horses to satisfy demand from foreign meat companies. USDA records show that the vast majority of horses going to slaughter are healthy and would otherwise be able to lead productive lives if given the chance.
Sen. Graham stated, “I’m grateful to be recognized by the Humane Society of the United States. But I would especially like to pay tribute to my late friend John S. Rainey, who was dedicated to ensuring the humane treatment of horses for many years.”
Marty Irby, senior adviser at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund stated, “We are pleased to honor Senator Graham for his continued commitment to protecting American equines, and applaud his tireless work and dedication. The Senator clearly recognizes that horses depend on us to protect them from the predatory horse slaughter industry, which 80 percent of Americans oppose, and is a hero to both the horses and equine enthusiasts alike.”
The John S. Rainey Memorial Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act H.R.113/S.1706
This vital legislation would save millions of taxpayer dollars from being wasted to subsidize the needless slaughter and export for slaughter of America’s horses and burros for human consumption. Additionally, meat from American horses can be dangerous to human consumers because of the unregulated administration of numerous toxic substances to horses over the course of their lives. American horses are not raised for human consumption, and they are routinely given hundreds of drugs and other substances, both legal and illegal, over their lifetimes that can be toxic to humans if ingested. Horse slaughter is inhumane, cannot be made humane and is a terrifying end for horses.