The US Senate Appropriations Committee has backed a provision that, if enacted into law, could halt any efforts to resume slaughtering horses for human consumption on American soil.
An identical amendment was passed by the House Appropriations Committee last week.
The amendment to the agriculture appropriations bill, offered by Senators Mary Landrieu, D-La. and Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and approved by the committee by voice vote, disallows spending by the US Department of Agriculture on inspections at prospective horse slaughter plants in the 2014 fiscal year, effectively preventing any from opening.
A similar spending bar put in place in 2005 was not renewed in 2011, allowing for horse slaughter plants to reopen in the US. There are no horse slaughter facilities currently operating in the US, but the agriculture department confirms it had received at least six applications from prospective abattoirs, and several are close to being approved.
The chief executive and president of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, said: “The idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption will never gain traction here — Americans’ abiding appreciation for horses, and our debt to these animals for their service, will triumph over the idea of making a profit on these animals by the pound.
“The House and Senate appropriations committees have spoken, and we look forward to seeing this spending prohibition on horse slaughter inspections adopted into law.”
President Barack Obama’s proposed 2014 budget included a request for Congress to prevent tax dollars from supporting horse slaughter.