Today, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. This legislation would prohibit horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export and slaughter of more than 150,000 American horses abroad each year and prevent the public from consuming toxic horsemeat. A similar bill was also introduced today in the House by Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Il.
"Horses have been raised for sport, transport, security and companionship, but never for slaughter and consumption," Sen. Landrieu said. "There are very few regulations on the drugs given to horses, and we cannot risk introducing dangerously toxic meat into our food supply here at home or abroad. We must stop the slaughter of these beloved animals and protect the public's health. That is why I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce this important legislation."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced plans to process an application for inspecting horse slaughter at a New Mexico facility. If approved, Valley Meat Company LLC will be the first facility in the U.S. to slaughter horses for human consumption since 2007, when the few remaining plants closed after Congress chose to eliminate funding for horse meat inspections. This move to reopen a horse slaughter plant plays out against the scandal unfolding in the European Union, where consumers have been alarmed by the discovery in prepared food products of horse meat mislabeled as beef.
Audio of today's press conference:
Photographs for publication:
Sen. Landrieu, along with Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., speak at a press conference introducing the SAFE Act that bans horse slaughter in the United States: http://www.landrieu.senate.gov/files/images/2013_03_13_presser1.jpg
Sen. Landrieu argues for passage of the SAFE Act to ban horse slaughter in the United States: http://www.landrieu.senate.gov/files/images/2013_03_13_presser2.jpg