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Landrieu’s Ban on Horse Slaughter Passes Appropriations Committee

May 22, 2014

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., today passed a ban on domestic horse slaughter through the Senate Appropriations Committee as part of the FY2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This ban, which passed by a 18-12 vote, will prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using federal funds to inspect horsemeat intended for human consumption, effectively banning domestic horse slaughter and protecting the public from toxic horse meat. Similar language was included in the President’s budget request and is supported by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. 

“I am pleased that language banning horse slaughter in the United States, written by Sen. Graham and myself, has received overwhelming bipartisan support. There is no place for the brutal and uncivilized practice of horse slaughter in the United States. Our nation’s values are reflected in what we choose to fund in our annual budget,” Sen. Landrieu said.  “Today’s bipartisan vote to defund domestic horse slaughter in the FY2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill shows this is not a Democratic or a Republican issue – it is an issue that 80 percent of the American people agree on. Brutal slaughter is never the answer, and I will continue to push for this ban to be signed into law.” 

“Horse slaughter is a disgraceful, barbaric industry, at odds with the values of American citizens.  We are so pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee has rightfully chosen to maintain the ban on the inspection of horse slaughter plants in the U.S, and we are immensely grateful for Senator Landrieu’s unwavering leadership in the fight to protect America’s horses,” said Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

“There is no such thing as a commercial horse slaughter plant that doesn’t inflict cruelty on horses,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “Using taxpayer dollars to fund this abhorrent industry is irresponsible and wasteful. We are thankful to Senators Landrieu and Graham for their strong leadership in advocating to protect our nation’s revered equines.”

“The Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Animal Welfare Institute have been leading advocates in this fight for responsible stewardship of taxpayer funds and for the many horses whose lives have been saved by this action; I appreciate their efforts,” said Sen. Landrieu.

If the House passes a similar ban, this ban would last for the duration of its parent bill, the FY2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The Senate and House of Representatives are serious about outlawing this brutal practice.  To permanently ban horse slaughter, Senator Landrieu has introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act with Senator Graham, R-S.C., which currently has 28 bipartisan cosponsors. This legislation would permanently prohibit horse slaughter operations in the U.S., and end the current export and slaughter of more than 150,000 American horses abroad each year. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Ill., have introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and it currently has 171 bipartisan cosponsors.

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