A Great Day for American Horses

Posted by Chris Green, ALDF Director of Legislative Affairs on January 17, 2014

Today, President Obama signed into law an omnibus $1.1 trillion, 1,582-page spending bill that contains some very good news for horses and those of us who love them.

Most immediately, the Act ensures that horses will not be slaughtered for human consumption in this country for the time being—restoring a ban on using any Federal dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities. Without those government inspections, slaughterhouses are not legally able to comply with Federal Meat Inspection Act standards.

Wild horses in Cold Creek, Nevada on January 8, 2013. (CC Ingrid Taylar)

Wild horses in Cold Creek, Nevada on January 8, 2013. (CC Ingrid Taylar)

Although no horse has been legally slaughtered for food on U.S. soil since the remaining plants were finally shut down in 2007, last year three facilities in New Mexico, Iowa & Missouri were granted permits to start slaughtering horses again—after one plant sued the USDA to allow the killing to begin. This was only possible because Congress’s previous inspection funding ban expired in 2011, demonstrating that targeting inspections is at best a temporary and tenuous tool in the effort to permanently protect American horses from harm.

Indeed, letting this provision lapse has led a tumultuous, high-stakes battle this past year—with the USDA initially issuing permits to slaughter horses, animal advocates suing to stop them, courts imposing injunctions to halt the process (and then rescinding them), local and state agencies denying permits, and even current and former Governors weighing in publicly to try and stop the killing. It has been a massive drain of time, resources, and energy for all involved.

Thankfully horse slaughter has again been derailed, but just for the moment, as this renewed ban lasts only through September 30, 2014, the end of the fiscal year. In order to truly bring an end to this abhorrent practice, it is time to urge your members of congress to pass the Safeguard American Foods Export (SAFE) Act S. 541 and H.R. 1094. This bill would permanently ban the domestic slaughter of horses and halt the export of American horses for slaughter abroad by prohibiting the “sale or transport of horses in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption.” Please make a call today.

But wait, that’s not all…  Today’s enacted spending bill also restored protections for wild horses as well.  Using the same funding ban tactic, the bill prohibits the expenditure of Federal funds on “the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros…or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.”  This helps fix a 2004 spending amendment that removed 34-year old protections and allowed the Bureau of Land Management to sell wild horses for slaughter if they were over ten years old or had failed to be adopted at least three times.

Additionally, today’s bill grants the U.S. Forest service authority to spend or transfer funds to help adopt wild horses and burros from National Forest System lands, and also for the BLM to enter into 10-year agreements “for the long-term care and maintenance of excess wild free roaming horses and burros” on private lands.

All-in-all a great day for American horses…but there is still much work to be done.

Now let’s get the SAFE Act passed and make these protections permanent.

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79 thoughts on “A Great Day for American Horses

  1. Crystal Palomo says:

    Thank you.

  2. Pat Rinehart says:

    Please,you must pass The Safeguard American Foods Export[SAFE]Act S. 541 and H.R. 1094.

  3. Linda says:

    Yes! Yay! A small step in the right direction. Now, make it permanent, as it should have been all along.

  4. KATHERINE BOMMARITO says:

    Stop the slaughter.

  5. Janice rozzano says:

    Please pass the Safe Act and permanently protect our horses.

  6. Karen says:

    There is another issue you should look into. Horses are slaughtered in completely unregulated ways to provide meat for big cats in zoos. I was involved in writing about a horrific case in NJ. Eliminating slaughter for human food does not end the work we have to do. There are too many horses bred for the number of good homes.

  7. Meredith says:

    No horse slaughter anywhere in the world…

  8. Fran Gray says:

    PLEASE, pass the Safe Act and forever protect these beautiful animals…

  9. tina polinsky says:

    Please stop the transport of our horses to Mexico and Canada. and keep working on stopping all horse slaughter in or country. Our horses need our respect for there life’s.

  10. Angee says:

    Horse slaughter is barbaric and disgusting.

  11. Remona says:

    Thank you so much!

  12. Sandy says:

    Great, now stop the wolf and coyote slaughter, it’s and absolute disgrace what is happening to those animals.

  13. Donna says:

    Please stop the barbaric horse slaughter !! I want the Safe Act in place for all wild animals not just horses but ALL of them. Lions, tigers, bears, antelope, Elephants, Rhinos etc… Let’s make this a Global Safe Act NOW before we lose them all forever !!

    1. Shell says:

      Right-on, sister, right-on!:-)

  14. Marie Diamond says:

    Please put the Safe Act in place for all wild animals. thank you!

  15. Marilyn Wilson says:

    American horse are not raised for human consumption, we will never allow horse slaughter here again!

  16. Doris Daugherty says:

    The Bible speaks against consuming horse meat… It is a UNCLEAN food. Why should we allow horse slaughter in the USA when horse meat is not consumed by Americans?

  17. vicky Harisis says:

    Please…isn’t there enough murder of animals in this world- MAKE the change to humane HUMAN and stop this senseless slaughter- ugh- even the word makes me sick. If you were one of them you would pray for the mercy of having it stopped. One day all who committed or allowed or were involved in any way in animal slaughter will face the same predicament. Change now. Stop it and that karma will be released by the grace of you doing so.

    1. Meg says:

      I whole heartedly agree!!

  18. Lorraine says:

    Lets make a FIRM stand against the unnecessary slaughter of these beautiful horses!!! before they become extinct just like the Black Rhino!

  19. Alexandra Lillie says:

    Stop the slaughter of horses for good and pass the Safe Act now.

  20. Cynthia Lacey says:

    Please Stop all slaughtering og horses in the USA and all meat that comes into the USA .I WANT THE Safe Act in place for all wild horses and all horses ,Lions ,Tigers ,Bears ,Elephants ,Rhinos , and all animals .We need to protect them from humans forever !!!!

    1. Lisa White says:

      You have surely got that right!!!!!!! Amen to that sister

  21. Cynthia Lacey says:

    Please Stop all slaughtering of horses in the USA and all meat that comes into the USA .I WANT THE Safe Act in place for all wild horses and all horses ,Lions ,Tigers ,Bears ,Elephants ,Rhinos , and all animals .We need to protect them from humans forever !!!!

  22. Vic says:

    Great Job!!! Now,stop the transport of our horses to Mexico and Canada! And how about we stop slaughtering animals period!
    Also, when are we as a civilized society going to start forcing the end of the fur trade!? When are we going to stop the MILLIONS of Dogs, Cats being skinned alive for their fur in China!!!! IT DOESN’T GET ANY MORE F’N BARBARIC THAN THAT!!!!!!

    1. Becky says:

      Having just returned to the US after living in Asia for five years, I can attest to the horrific ways “companion” and other animals are killed….. skinned alive and having the fur blow torched from their bodies while alive are “acceptable” ways of pre-treating the meat prior to consumption…..as is tying dogs to a post and bludgeoning them to death. Cats are thrown into pots of boiling water as an arthritis cure. Cartloads of dog and cat pelts can be seen moving through the streets of major cities, including Shanghai. There is a festival in northern China each year that slaughters 10,000 dogs.

      That, my friend, is the tip of the iceberg…….. the major cities may be modern, in parts, but the old ways just go underground or a few blocks off the modern streets frequented by tourists.

  23. Tami Phelps says:

    Pass the SAFE Act! And please don’t allow animals to be shipped across the borders to be slaughtered in other countries.

    1. Linda Moore says:

      I live across the street from a horse trafficker. I see the horses dropped there, And I see them loaded up again. Packed into the horse carriers like sardines. Another one is about 20 minutes up the road from me and was sighted 3 times and a judge finally shut it down because they had been in 3 accidents on the interstate where police had to put horses down because they were hurt so bad in the wreck. They put way to much weight on the trailers and the drivers drive crazy in them, hurrying to the next drop. I hope they pass the Safe act. Like I said, I see the beautiful horses, across the street every week. Some are so scared they don’t know what is going on. And they are eating their “last supper” of hay, before they go to New Mexico to be slaughtered. Please put an end to this senseless cruelty!

    2. Lisa White says:

      Not in any country, here or there to anywhere!!!!

  24. Cindy Podeszwa says:

    Please pass the Safe Act! Horses should live there lives in peace and this goes for all animals!

  25. patricia joanides says:

    Please stop the barbaric horse slaughter !! I want the Safe Act in place for all wild animals not just horses but ALL of them. Lions, tigers, bears, antelope, Elephants, Rhinos etc… Let’s make this a Global Safe Act NOW before we lose them all forever !!

  26. tanja groß says:

    please stop it !!!!!

  27. Jessica says:

    That is the best news I’ve heard in awhile!

  28. Mrs Cleadth Gossett says:

    I’m glad you All stop them cause Horses are God’s Create! I Hope and PRAY THAT They will Leave them along! I LOVE HORSES TO! Stop Killing These Beautiful Animals OF GOD’S! LOVE AND BE BLESSED ALWAYS

  29. Bonnie Daut says:

    All I can say is thank you everyone for working together to help save America’s Horses now lets get those stolen from the open range back home to the open range where they belong

  30. Roxanne Phillips says:

    Just watch some videos of them being slaughtered it will break your heart. What gives humans the right to kill any animal that they want. STOP TORTURING ANIMALS. WE STOPPED LIVING IN CAVE DAYS LONG AGO. I WOULD STARVE BEFORE I WOULD WORK IN A SLAUGHTER HOUSE. THAT IS WHY I STOPPED EATING MEAT BECAUSE I SAW THE VIDEOS AND NOTHING SHOULD SUFFER FOR US TO EAT.

  31. This is wonderful news, but we have to keep this going. We must not forget about the millions of cats and dogs that are euthanized in this country every year. All animals need us to be their voice and end cruelty everywhere.

  32. valerie says:

    that is great…now I wish they would do that in Canada…

  33. valerie says:

    I am ashamed what we as humans do to animals in slaughter houses and what even worse are the people that work in them..they are sick and barbaric unfeelling so called human beings..

  34. Linda Stancil says:

    PLEASE pass the SAFE Act to stop the slaughter of all horses both here in the U.S. & abroad…& I also believe that the SAFE Act should be changed & pertain to ALL wildlife including horses…thank you.

  35. Julia says:

    Freedom for the horses!

  36. Judy Budge says:

    The Safe Act needs to cover ALL animals. Too much slaughter, inhumane treatment, etc, and it seems the almighty $ comes first! What a shame..

  37. Mimi fowler says:

    Let’s stop slaughter permanently . I will not eat horse meat. Pass the safe act for these and all animals of Gods creation. Let’s have a Global Act Safe Act immediately.

  38. Please pass The Safeguard American Foods Export[SAFE]Act S. 541 and H.R. 1094.
    Horses need permanent protection against slaughter.
    Horses are Divine and Magnificent animals that contributed to mankind in the early days before cars and continue to give such Beauty, strength and a magnificent bond with humans. I am counting on you to give horses permanent protection…Thank you, Danielle Liberio

  39. Cathleen Hopkins says:

    I hope everyone involved in stopping the slaughterhouses and protecting horses, put there time and money into protecting these animals. Each person should be willing to take on the expense of caring for at least 30 horses each until they die naturally. Or do they expect to just sign a petition and do a lot of talking with no personal investment

  40. Shari McLaughlin says:

    Please pass the SAFE ACT! It is hideous to ship these beautiful animals across borders to be slaughtered in other countries and also in our own. They suffer beyond imagination in transport in addition to the the vicious cruelty of slaughter houses. These are beautiful sweet animals and should not endure this in any capacity. It is immoral and wrong.

  41. Do not allow horses to be transported across the U.S. borders for slaughter. It is a horrible death.

  42. William A wood says:

    Please pass the safe act; it’s been scientifically proven that we can benefit from the therapeutic gift that horses have and has been accepted by the AMA. Since pharmaceuticals don’t work, we have the responsibility of keeping and using the horse as a medical provider to many in need. There shouldn’t be a reason at all to slaughter horses unless it keeps them from suffering. keep other countries from slaughtering them as well.

  43. Brenda Scott says:

    pass the SAFE ACT let no animals be shipped any where !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. mary says:

    Please stop the transport of our horses to Mexico and Canada. and keep working on stopping all horse slaughter in any country.

  45. Christina Williams says:

    We were suppose to care for all creatures, not kill them. Care takers do not have the rights to kill and eat animals either.

  46. Brandywine Kopatich says:

    Fabulous! Lets get this SAFE Act permanent.

  47. SUZIE says:

    I guess I am concerned that now there will be no federal money spent to inspect these horse slaughter houses. What is to stop the horses being slaughtered now there is nobody inspecting them? Can someone come back to me on this. Thank you very much for all the hard work you do for animals.

  48. Bonnie Daut says:

    LET THE HORSES GO BACK TO THE OPEN RANGE WHERE THEY WERE STOLEN FORM

    1. Lisa White says:

      I’m right there with ya, Bonnie

    2. Lisa White says:

      I’m right there with ya, Bonnie they need to put an END to killing all animals!!!!! This is totally needless. Stop the torture of these precious animals that are GODS precious creatures. If we were doing this to the humans, it certainly would be STOPPED today!!!!!

  49. Marilyn Beidler says:

    Don’t ship horses across borders! For any reason. They belong here on the free and open and protected range. They should be protected from the BLM and hunters and slaughterhouses and allowed to be free.

  50. Maryann Holtsclaw says:

    There is no reason for horse slaughter and this is an important first step. We just have to keep fighting for the rights of all animals.

  51. Shelli P says:

    And I’m right there with Lisa and Bonnie. Killing animals is an action that requires much more thought and insight than has currently been utilized. Let’s all wake up!!!

  52. Maria Celia Hernandez says:

    To the representatives of Congress
    I never, ever thought about Horse meet in my plate. I felt so terrible to find out about this horrible act of mercy less destruction of such beautiful and majestic’s Animals. One can stay breathless seen them running .The beauty and the strength of a special animal.Protect these and other wonderful animals,I would never accept this horrible use of these precious animals to be killed for meet. To me it is unacceptable. They were not born to be killed for meet; neither for a meal I, urge the members of our congress to pass the Safeguard American Foods Export (SAFE) Act S. 541 and H.R. 1094. This bill would permanently ban the domestic slaughter of horses and halt the export of American horses for slaughter abroad by prohibiting the “sale or transport of horses in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption.Sincerely MCH 1-28-2014

  53. Nick Percival says:

    I, strongly urge the members of congress to pass the Safeguard American Foods Export (SAFE) Act S. 541 and H.R. 1094 so as to halt the export of American horses for slaughter abroad!!!

  54. Sue Nimchick says:

    Stop the pee farms in this country as the mares and the folds become the future horses transported for slaughter. If pee farms are illegal then reveal them to the public and to agencies to shut them down. if pee farms are not illegal then make them illegal and fine heavily all income generated directly or indirectly from the farms as well as the companies such as Pfizer and all of the dollars generated from the products as a result of a mare kept in such inhumane conditions and the fouls and mares inhumanely transported and slaughtered. Make the fine based on all dollars ever made so that no corporation or individual or farm, etc would ever think of inhumanely treating any animal for the sake of profit. Thank you, Sue

  55. William Heaps says:

    Ban the slaughter of these majestic animals….PERMANENTLY!

  56. Muriel Servaege says:

    Thank you!

  57. elisa orozco says:

    Protect these magnificent animals FOREVER!!
    Never again allow them to be slaughtered!!!

  58. Suzanne House says:

    Pass the Safeguard American Foods Export Act(SAFE) to ban the domestic slaughter of horses & stop sending American horses for slaughter abroad.

  59. Suzanne House says:

    Pass the SAFE Act, Safeguard American Foods Export Act NOW. We need to ban the domestic slaughter of horses & stop sending American horses for slaughter abroad.

  60. Hilda says:

    Please ban all these cruel practices.
    They do no good and do not belong to a civilized society.
    Stop to hurt animals
    Thank you!

  61. Cindy Krikava says:

    A ban on slaughter in the USA does no good unless there are laws in place to prohibit horses being transported out of the country for slaughter. It is a worse fate to travel the long distance to Mexico, in the heat, without feed or water, to be killed by a puntilla knife that severs the spinal cord. If they miss….they keep stabbing. Saw a photo of this and the horse was, of course, terrified. About 130,000 American horses get slaughtered every year out of the approximate population of 9 million horses in this country. It is heartbreaking.
    Japanese like foal meat, almost all of the PMU foals are either slaughtered for meat, or go from Canadian feed lots to Seattle Washington where they are flown live to Japanese meat markets. A study was done on the mortality rates of Premarin foals, and found to be 67% in the first week and 45% in the second week. Foaling mares are often turned out in paddocks without shelter in sub zero conditions. The deaths are mostly from exposure and/or starvation. Maybe better than the slaughter house? What a nasty industry. Although production has declined in recent years, unfortunately Premarin is still available. These noble animals who for centuries have plowed our fields, pulled carriages through our cities, were cannon fodder in our wars, provided pleasure in sport, do not deserve such a cruel fate.

  62. Lynn J says:

    Let our horses alone and let them roam free as they were intended to do. They should be protected, not slaughtered for food!

  63. Sue McLaughlin says:

    Since there are more horses in this country than there are good homes, we need to find a way for people to humanely euthanize the ones who can’t find homes and make stronger laws dealing with people who abandon horses and other animals.As much as I hate seeing horses being killed for meat, the ones that are being sent out of the country for slaughter must be suffering much more than when they were shipped to facilities in the USA.

  64. Kyle says:

    Stop the slaughter of these beautiful animals here in the US and in other countries. This country was built on the backs of these animals and they deserve to be protected.

  65. CLAIRE A says:

    this fight is just starting we need to make this permanent and extend it to anyone transporting horses to mexico or canida these animals built this country along with the settlers without them there would have been no traveling at all. we need to make laws to protect them totally the blm needs to be disbanded and people put in there that will not take money from ranchers or others to kill these beautiful animals. god made them before lhe made man I beginning to think that creating man was a mistake they are the most cruel of all beings. man is the only creature that kills mames tortures for no reason or for the almighty dollar. thank you mr president for at least kick starting this very important amendment for these beautiful animals we need to make more laws to protect gods creatures and condem those who torture and kill them

  66. Nancy says:

    PLEASE PASS THE SAFEGUARD ACT IMMEDIATELY TO SAVE HORSES FROM MEXICAN AND CANADIAN SLAUGHTER. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR.

  67. Bonna Mettie says:

    I urge you to ban the slaughter of horses. Thank-you.

  68. suzanne o'meara says:

    (what if they change later ? or transportation across borders occurs? so we must really try aim for permanent forever …

  69. suzanne o'meara says:

    please ban all horse slaughter forever & ever

  70. Diane Gambino says:

    To the members of the House and Senate,

    I urge you to pass the SAFE Act S541 and H.R. 1094. The passing of this act is long overdue in addition to the many animal welfare bills that have taken a back seat. It is time that members of the House and Senate put aside differences and put a end to the slaughtering of not only horses but all animals as well. We as a nation forgot compassion. We have become a nation that thrives on greed. If we cannot show compassion towards all Gods’ creatures then we cannot be compassionate towards mankind.
    Please take the first step and pass the SAFE and H.R. Acts. Let Americans know that kindness and mercy still exist in our government.

  71. jacqueline Campbell says:

    I cannot understand how our country can still export our beautiful horses to other countries to be slaughtered for human consumption. I know that some countries have butcher shops sell horse meat and they do it openly. I am French and I remember too well seeing people go in those stores to buy horse meat. Those stores have a large usually painted a gold color horse head. Please the Congress has to pass the SAFE AND H.R. Acts now.