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 FY2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This ban 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 House FY14 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, and for the first time, in the President's budget request.
"We raise horses to work with us, carry us on their backs and be our companions - they have never been raised for slaughter and consumption. This ban not only prevents the inhumane slaughter of our horses and keeps toxic meat out of our food supply, it also saves American taxpayer money. It would be fiscally irresponsible to require additional USDA inspections for a product we know is unsafe and has no market in this country," Sen. Landrieu said. "Today's bipartisan vote to pass a ban on domestic horse slaughter shows once again that 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."
The ban included in the FY2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill would last for the duration of the bill. To permanently ban horse slaughter, Sens. Landrieu and Graham recently introduced the bipartisan Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. 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. A similar bill has been introduced in the House by Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Il.