The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would permanently ban horse slaughter in the United States as well as prohibit the export of horses for slaughter in other countries. The legislation is sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Representative Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL). Read the bill language here: S. 2006 and H.R. 961.
Horses shipped from the U.S. to slaughter plants endure severe abuse. They are crammed into trailers, mixed in with unfamiliar horses. Terrified, many of the horses injure each other, biting and kicking, or even trampling the horses around them. Prior to being slaughtered, horses are shot in the head with a captive bolt gun.
Due to the difficulty of accurately shooting moving horses, some horses are shot more than once or are even conscious during slaughter. Many of the horses in danger of being slaughtered are wild. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is fighting in court to protect wild horses from slaughter.
In 2018, we filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Forest Service’s plans to round up and sell horses living in Devil’s Garden Plateau in California’s Modoc National Forest. It is long-standing policy for the Forest Service, in connection with the Bureau of Land Management, to sell some of the horses rounded up in this area. But in the past, these horses have always been sold “with restrictions” — meaning that the horses could not then be resold for slaughter.
For the first time, the U.S. Forest Service is now allowing some of these horses to be sold “without limitation,” removing the protection from slaughter.
The SAFE Act would ensure that the horses of Devil’s Garden, and all wild horses, are protected from the cruel horse slaughter industry. You can politely urge your federal legislators to support this bill by sending them a message.