By Michael Markarian
A bipartisan team of lawmakers today introduced federal legislation to stop the butchering of America’s companion horses and the peddling of their doped up meat to foreign consumers.
For the past two fiscal years, Congress has rightly stopped the use of tax dollars for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct horse slaughter inspections, preventing the plants from opening here.
But the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 1942)—which was introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta, R-N.H.; Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.; Vern Buchanan, R-Fla.; Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M.; and a bipartisan group of original cosponsors—would completely ban horse slaughter operations in the U.S.
It would also stop the export of American horses for the purpose of slaughter in other countries such as Canada and Mexico.
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, star of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” is helping The HSUS spread the word about the cruelty of horse slaughter and urging Congress to pass the SAFE Act. You can watch her PSA here.
Kaley said, “As a horse owner, I know firsthand the unique bond we share with horses, and I am passionate about protecting them from cruelty. To force any horse to endure the horror of slaughter is a betrayal of their trust and loyalty. I hope my PSA will focus attention on this important issue and bring an end to the slaughter of American horses.”
Horses suffer in long-distance transport and in the slaughter process. Rounded up from random sources, these are former racehorses, show ponies, working animals, and backyard pets who meet a terrible fate.
The animals were also never intended for human consumption, so they’ve been given drugs and medications throughout their lifetimes that are prohibited from being introduced into the human food supply. The European Commission, in fact, has suspended horsemeat imports from Mexico, where most of those slaughtered horses originated in the U.S.
The horse slaughter industry is a predatory, inhumane enterprise. It doesn’t “euthanize” old horses, but precisely the opposite: scurrilous players buy up young and healthy horses, often by misrepresenting their intentions, and kill them to sell the meat to Europe and Japan.
It’s time for Congress to close gaps in the law and stop treating these American icons as nothing more than meat on the hoof. Please ask your representative to cosponsor the SAFE Act today.