The United States Appropriations Committee voted in favor of an amendment to ban any horse slaughter plants from opening in the United States on Thursday. In a news release from the Humane Society of the United States, Senators Tom Udall, (D-NM) and Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.) led the bipartisan effort along with committee members Senators Christopher Coons, (D-Del), Susan Collins, (R-Maine), Diane Feinstein, (D-Calif.), Jack Reid, (D-R.I.) and Jeanne Shaheen, (D-N.H.) cosponsoring the amendment as gaining strength in the anti-slaughter campaign.
Last week, the House committee voted to reopen horse slaughter plants in the United States. The Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 27 to 25 members who support the anti-slaughter bill. All but one Democrat on the committee voted to oppose the amendment to ban horse slaughter while 26 of 30 Republicans favored it. The vote came as the panel approved a Department of Agriculture funding bill. The House and Senate committees are now in disagreement, and key lawmakers will have to settle this item among others is dispute.
“Unimaginable because American horses deserve a better fate than to be gathered up by a disreputable ‘kill buyer’ who outbids a rescuer at an auction, loaded onto an overcrowded truck, and then stunned, hoisted up by one leg, and pulled apart piece by piece – which is exactly what the 27 lawmakers who voted against the Roybal-Allard/Dent amendment are trying to sanction,” wrote Wayner Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.
Horse slaughter has been banned for more than a decade. The ban is enforced by blocking the Department of Agriculture from paying for inspectors at horse meat plants that slaughter horses and is in place through September 30.
Pacelle states the negotiations in today’s vote in the Senate signifies the country’s feelings against horse slaughter for human consumption. According to U.S. Senator Tom Udall, Americans find the thought of horse slaughter for their meat repulsive, stating,
“…there is no reason the federal government should contribute in an way. This amendment is a strong step forward, and I will keep fighting to prohibit horse slaughter in the United States.”
The slaughter of American horses continues to disgust most people. Horses not only serve as pets and companions, they have also served in the development and building of the West, heroes in war and still serve in police and other national and federal positions. As to the few people who want to benefit by slaughtering horses, investing is such an endeavor is little different than opening a restaurant which sells dog meat. Whereas there are homeless horses – much as there are homeless dogs and cats yet we don’t mix our dogs into the meat stew. It again becomes a moral responsibility for horse owners to care for their horses and promote proper breeding as well as adequate rescue and retirement.
Animal advocates must continue the fight.
(Photo of Dakota by Liz Lamont)
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