Animal welfare

Humane Society of the United States reports animal welfare groups praise U.S. senators for reintroducing horse slaughter bill

Wild horses
Photo credit: BLM

September 20, 2021 – Last week, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers reintroduced legislation permanently banning the slaughter of horses in the United States and ending the current export of American horses for slaughter. Sponsored by the United States Sens. Robert Menendez, DN.J., Lindsey Graham, RS.C., Sheldon Whitehouse, DR.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, The Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act is supported by major conservation groups animals, including ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Animal Welfare Institute, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund and Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation.

“The horrific practice of slaughtering horses for food has no place in the United States, and it is high time that Congress said once and for all that horse meat is not what it must for dinner. ” said Senator Menendez. “Horses are regularly treated with drugs that are dangerous for human consumption and are not part of our country’s food supply. Our bipartisan legislation will help end the cruel and inhumane slaughter of horses while protecting families from toxic horse meat and preserving the reputation of the American food industry around the world.

“Horses hold a special place in our history and culture, and the practice of slaughtering them to satisfy foreign appetites simply does not reflect the admiration we have for these animals. said Senator Collins. “In an effort to protect horses, this legislation would discourage the transport or purchase of horses for human consumption.”

“The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption and the ASPCA is working resolutely to address the equine welfare issues on the ground, but we cannot be fully successful as long as the pipeline slaughter remains open “, said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of government relations at ASPCA. “We thank Senators Menendez, Graham, Whitehouse and Collins for their leadership on this bill, and urge Congress to pass the SAFE Act to finally end this cruel and unnecessary practice and provide protections for American horses and people. who love them. “

“The predatory horse slaughter industry has persisted for far too long in the United States, but we are now closer than ever to shutting down this inhumane operation that exports beloved animals to be killed for human consumption,” said Cathy Liss, President of the Animal Welfare Institute. “We are grateful to Senators Menendez, Graham, Whitehouse and Collins for their leadership on the SAFE Act, and we hope the Senate will move quickly to pass this crucial legislation.”

“Just nine years ago, 160,000 American horses were exported overseas for slaughter. Due to the awareness of this inhuman and predatory industry, this number has considerably decreased with just over 35,000 shipped to the slaughterhouse in 2020. But one horse is still too much ”, said Sara Amundson, chair of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We are grateful to Senators Menendez, Graham, Whitehouse and Collins for their leadership and commitment to pass this crucial horse protection bill, which will end this ghoulish industry and protect these American icons from those who profit from them. dead.”

“We applaud Senators Menendez, Graham, Whitehouse and Collins for hearing overwhelming American opposition to horse slaughter,” said Neda DeMayo, Founder of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation. “It is still too easy for American horses, including the wild horses that once roamed freely on our public lands, to fall down the slaughter pipeline and be shipped to inhuman death at foreign slaughterhouses. Horse slaughter is completely anti-American and must end now with the swift passage of the bipartisan SAFE Act. “

In recent years, the number of American horses shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter for human consumption in foreign countries has declined, making it the right time for Congress to fill this legal loophole that is causing so much suffering. Last year, more than 35,000 horses were exported for slaughter, and research published in 2017 found that 2.3 million Americans have the interest and the resources to adopt a horse. The American Horse Adoption Community strives to match the horses in its care with foster and foster families, increasing the number of adoptions each year. This means that every horse that could have been sent to the slaughterhouse could have a house waiting, if he had the opportunity to find it.

The horse slaughter industry doesn’t just exploit horses, which endure grueling journeys to slaughterhouses and inhuman death. It is also hurting the wider equine community, including horse owners, riders and rescuers, who fear their horses could end up in the slaughter pipeline despite their best efforts to keep them safe. Kill buyers – those who buy horses for slaughter in Canada and Mexico – attend auctions and often outbid rescue groups trying to help vulnerable equines. Kill buyers have also been known to masquerade as good homes in response to announcements from horse owners who can no longer care for their animals. Many owners are so afraid that they may even keep their horses beyond their financial means, to prevent their sale to the slaughterhouse. Horses have even been stolen from their stalls or pastures and sent to slaughter.

Earlier this year, U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., And Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Introduced the SAFE Act (HR 3355) to the United States House of Representatives. We encourage the public to contact their U.S. Senators and Representatives to urge them to co-sponsor the SAFE Act and ensure its swift passage, to protect horses, their caregivers and consumers.

About ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization to be established in North America and today is the nation’s leading voice for vulnerable and victimized animals. As a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines and animals farm in the United States. ASPCA helps animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and community advancement. shelters and veterinarians through research, training and resources. For more information, visit, and follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About AWI

The Animal Welfare Institute ( is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1951 dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by humans. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere – in the lab, on the farm, in commerce, at home and in the wild. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and other important animal welfare news.

About HSUS

Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States leads the great battles to end the suffering of all animals. With millions of supporters, we take on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries. Together with our affiliates, we save and care for tens of thousands of animals each year through the work of our Animal Rescue Team and other convenient animal care services. We fight all forms of animal cruelty to realize the vision behind our name: a humane society. Learn more about our work at Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, A Humane World. Follow the HSUS Media Relations Department on Twitter. Read the award-winning magazine All Animals. Listen to the Humane Voices podcast.

About HSLF

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501 (c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States. . The HSLF works to pass animal welfare laws at the federal and state levels, educate the public on animal welfare issues, and support humanitarian candidates for election. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

About RTF

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation (RTF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of wild horses through sanctuaries, education, conservation and advocacy since 1998. It also operates the American Wild Horse Sanctuary at three California locations, taking care of 500 wild horses and burros. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on the wild horses and burros on the range and in our sanctuary.
Source: HSUS

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