January 2016 - Equine Slaughter Legislation Update

Ban on funding for slaughterhouse inspections is renewed; more work needed to halt practice all together.

by Neda DeMayo

Thanks to everyone’s phone calls and unrelenting support for America’s horses and their protection from horse slaughter, the provision to prevent horse slaughter operations from resuming on U.S. soil was included in the 2016 Appropriations Act. (It’s on page 714)


This a major victory for horses.


Since 2007, horse slaughterhouses have been closed by stopping the funding for horse slaughter inspections. This bill renews the ban on the use of tax dollars for the inspections of horse slaughter facilities, which prevents them from operating in the United States. As legislators were in the final stages of negotiations of the Omnibus Appropriations package on Capitol Hill, where they have been debating for nearly two weeks, Americans all over the country picked up their phones and spoke up for America’s horses.

A few months ago, the Udall amendment in the Senate inserted the defund language to the agriculture appropriations bill, but while it was accepted in the Senate, it was not accepted in the House of Representatives. Your calls and efforts made all the difference for America’s wild and domestic horses.

Return to Freedom applauds the diligent work of our coalition partners working with legislators year round on animal welfare issues. Return to Freedom was right in there with you. Thank you to all the supporters behind the scenes, celebrities and corporate leaders who took the time to respond and speak up for America’s horses.

This is a strong statement about how Americans feel about horses. The vast majority of Americans want to see our wild horses free on the range and off the table. Yet there is still more work to be done.

Horse lovers are somewhat split on horse slaughter operations resuming on U.S. soil.  Without legislation prohibiting the sale and transport of America’s horses over our borders by land, air or sea, to be slaughtered in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia, America’s wild and domestic horses still remain vulnerable to horrible pain and suffering.

But what a majority of American’s do agree on is ending the slaughter of America’s wild and domestic horses once and for all- including the prohibition of the sale and transport of America’s horses over our borders to be slaughtered as a food commodity.

This year, we want you to join us as a united horse nation as we work with our allies on Capitol Hill and educate more Americans and Congress, so we can pass federal legislation (SAFE ACT, HR 1942 in the Senate and H.R. 1094 in the House), and stop horse slaughter in the United States once and for all- including ending the sale and transport of America’s horses over our borders to be slaughtered as a food commodity.

What You Can Do Now

Please take some time this week to call or email your elected officials in both the House and the Senate to express your gratitude that the final 2016 budget bill included the provision to defund horse slaughter. Urge them to support legislation to ban horse slaughter and the sale and transport of America’s horses for slaughter over our borders.

Author Neda DeMayo is founder and president of Return To Freedom. Excerpted from RTF press releases. Visit www.returntofreedom.org for help finding contact info for local elected officials and sample scripts for calls to legislators.