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Safeguard American Food Exports Act proposed to ban horse slaughter

The act was proposed in response to the European horse-meat scandal and possibility of horse slaughter in America.

March 13, 2013

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American Flag While Europe is in the midst of a food-safety crisis after the discovery of horse meat in a wide variety of products labeled as beef, many Americans are wondering if something like that could happen here. One major difference between Europe and the U.S. is that no horses are slaughtered on American soil, reducing the chance of contamination. However, with the current potential for new slaughterhouses opening in the U.S., a bipartisan group of legislators has introduced legislation to end the possibility of American horse slaughter once and for all.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-IL) have co-sponsored the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act which would ban horse slaughter in the U.S. as well as shipping horses to other countries to be slaughtered for human consumption. On March 12, the House version was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Agriculture. The Senate version has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Follow the bills' progress at (Senate version | House version) If passed and signed into law, the slaughter ban would not expire. This is a more permanent solution than the previous de facto ban that existed from 2006 through 2011 based on the agriculture appropriations that had to be renewed annually.

Members of the equestrian community are encouraged to make their voices heard on this issue. To find out how to contact your senators and representatives, visit

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Safeguard American Food Exports Act proposed to ban horse slaughter

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Reader Comments

Jane    Houston, TX

9/28/2015 9:33:15 AM

This is a no brainer proposal. Horse slaughter is of course cruel to animal lovers, but from a more objective perspective, the meat from these animals is not safe for anyone. Horses raised for food should have to be managed the same way that we do cattle, with the same restrictions on medications and vaccines that would potentially contaminate the meat. That is a more viable way to get the transportation of horse out of the country for slaughter illegal. The repercussion of that would be that owners who want to get rid of their horses will have to have the euthanized, donate them to a rescue along with a donation, or abandon them (which is a criminal offense).

Clarissa    Provo, UT

7/12/2013 6:50:46 PM

Horse slaughter is not only cruel and inhumane to horses, it is harmful to humans as well. In its lifetime, a horse is given medications and other toxic substances that would be harmful to humans and animals that consume its meat. Horse meat is not sold in the United States, but it is exported to other countries.

Horses are beautiful, intelligent animals that bring joy and friendship into our lives. We need to protect these sensitive animals from being killed.

Horses can't speak for themselves, but we can be their voice. Let congress know that Americans won't stand by while these precious animals are butchered.
Please don't be a bystander, be a rescuer! Follow this link to act today:

Debbie    Mayfield, KY

4/25/2013 11:52:23 AM

Horse slaughter is a means to and end for the pro slaughter, they say we have to many abandoned and abused horses since slaughter has stopped well my goodness they seem to forget it hasn't stopped last year the number of horses going across the border was higher than ever... BREEDERS need to be more responsible and STOP over BREEDING like AQHA, since 70% of the horses being tortured are quarter horses, they hide behide the very horse they say they care about and BREED, SHAME on them all... Our Gov. gives tax deductions for their breeding business now that is an incentive to slow down right?? This slaughter is ALL about MONEY period GREED and corruption, can't even wrap my head around HOW this is still an issue to begin with, how destructive mankind can be everything we touch we kill and destroy... Stop this destruction and inhumane killing of our horses!!!!!! They DESERVE our respect to a good live and death!!! I am just so so angry that this has gone on for so long unbelievable!!

Bethany    Adairsville, GA

3/30/2013 5:02:01 AM

I am a person who wants to do anything I possibly can to help end horse slaughter in America. I have even written an essay discussing why horses are different than cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Please tell me where I can send what I've written and how I can participate in the fight to stop this cruelty!

And Wally, there is no need for horse slaughterhouses. "Animals that are sick or injured", as you put it, are not even safe for consumption so your justification for slaughterhouses is invalid. Also if the horse were dangerous there are many people out there who take problem horses and rehabilitate them. Consider them the Caesar Millan horse whisperers. No horse deserves to die. They are companion animals just like your cats and dogs.

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