A council of influential horse breeders from around the US has announced its support for the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act.
The Responsible Horse Breeders Council, formed by The Humane Society of the United States earlier this year, urges Congress to pass the bipartisan legislation, which would prevent the introduction of horse slaughter operations in the US and end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad.
Staci Hancock, a council member whose farm raised Kentucky Derby winners Gato del Sol (1982), Sunday Silence (1989) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), said: “My fellow council members and I care deeply about the horses we breed. We want to ensure that they are treated humanely throughout their lives, and slaughtering them is far from humane.
“The council urges Congress to pass the SAFE Act in order to protect our horses from a brutal, unintended end, and to protect consumers from health threats posed by the consumption of these horses.”
Keith Dane, director of equine protection for the HSUS, said: “Responsible horse breeders recognize that passage of the SAFE Act would make great strides toward improving the treatment of American horses by preventing them from being snatched up by a predatory horse slaughter industry.
“These dedicated horse breeders are an integral part of the horse industry, and we hope that Congress responds in kind to the chorus of support for this legislation.”
The council’s first action after being formed in January was to encourage other horse breeders to sign the Responsible Breeders Pledge, to help protect horses from neglect, starvation and slaughter by reducing the number of surplus horses in the US and agreeing to serve as a safety net and take back or assist with any horse they have bred who becomes homeless or is at risk for slaughter.
This month, the number of breeders who have signed the pledge reached more than 1000.