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House Appropriations Committee supports neigh on horse slaughter in new budget

Arabian named Chance rescued from slaughter trip by Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue; now helping young Emma with riding lessons.
Arabian named Chance rescued from slaughter trip by Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue; now helping young Emma with riding lessons.
Laura K. Boothby

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee approved the amendment by Representative Jim Moran (D-Va) to bar the United States Department of Agriculture from funding horse slaughter inspections in the 2015 agriculture spending bill announced the press release from the Congressman's Washington office.

The bi-partisan vote passed 28-22.

Last week, the Senate approved identical language offered by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Congressman Moran states:

"Horse slaughter has no place in American society and this amendment affirms that Congress does not condone this inhumane practice. These iconic creatures are a proud symbol of the American West that should be treasured for their beauty and treated humanely, not killed for export. The American public has made clear they oppose horse slaughter and today’s vote reflects the will of the people."

The bill now moves on to a conference committee where it is expected to be signed by President Obama.

The actions will prohibit the opening of contentious horse slaughter plants in the United States. Over 80% of the American population are against horse slaughter. Court cases continue in New Mexico where Valley Meat Company in Roswell hopes to open the first domestic horse slaughter plant in the U.S.

There is no market for horse meat in the United States. Horse meat is sold abroad and contains carcinogens used routinely in the care and treatment of horses. Dating back to a study in 2010 and published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, 18 Thoroughbred race horses were traced from racetrack to the slaughterhouse. All had been treated with phenylbutazone (bute), "arguably the most potent and effective pain-relieving agent available in equine medicine."

The use of bute in animals raised for food production is strictly prohibited. There is no acceptable drug withdrawal time that eliminates the drug from an animal's body. Studies confirm that even the slightest amount of the drug consumed by a child can cause aplastic anemia.

Now it's time to pass the SAFE Act; Safeguard American Food Exports Act, to outlaw horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and to protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.

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