Senate Appropriations Committee Once Again Approves Amendment Blocking Funds for USDA Inspections of Horse Slaughter Facilities

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute commends the Senate Appropriations Committee for approving the Fiscal Year 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which included an amendment defunding federally required inspections of horse slaughter facilities in the United States. The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and identical to an amendment they offered before the Senate Appropriations Committee last year, was approved by a bipartisan roll call vote of 18-12.

“The tone on Capitol Hill regarding horse slaughter has changed over the last year,” said Chris Heyde, AWI’s deputy director of government and legal affairs. “While support for ending horse slaughter has always been strong, many more legislators now realize horse slaughter has run its course. Currently, no horse slaughter plants are attempting to open; AWI and other animal protection organizations have entered into a partnership with the Navajo Nation to ensure their horses do not go to slaughter; and humane end-of-life alternatives are being explored across the country. Now is the time to end horse slaughter for good and focus on positive equine welfare initiatives.”

While continuation of this annual defund amendment is critical to ensure no horse slaughter plants can open in the United States, AWI’s ultimate goal when it first brought this issue to the attention of Congress, has been passage of a federal bill to permanently ban the slaughter of horses in the country while ensuring they are not exported to other countries for slaughter. Please be sure to contact your legislators urging support and swift passage for the SAFE Act to halt the slaughter of American horses.

Media Contact:
Chris Heyde, (202) 446-2142, chris@awionline.org

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If your legislator voted in support of the Landrieu-Graham amendment, please take a minute to send them an email thanking them for standing up for America’s horses. If they haven’t cosponsored the SAFE Act, please ask them to do so right away. To find your legislator’s contact information, please visit AWI’s Compassion Index.

Yes Votes (18): Mark Begich (D-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tom Udall (D-NM)

No Votes (12): Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Dan Coats (R-IN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), Jon Tester (D-MT)