Those supporting the end of domestic horse slaughter are celebrating what they say is a ‘victory for horses,’ after a crucial committee vote on Thursday. The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to block federal dollars for horse slaughter inspections.
Introduced by Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), the amendment is part of the House’s Agriculture Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2015. “Horse slaughter has no place in American society and this amendment affirms that Congress does not condone this inhumane practice,” said Rep. Moran. “These iconic creatures are a proud symbol of the American West that should be treasured for their beauty and treated humanely, not killed for export. The American public has made clear they oppose horse slaughter and today’s vote reflects the will of the people.”
The Senate approved an identical amendment, brought by Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., last week. The House and Senate versions of the spending bills will now go to a conference committee, with the anti-horse slaughter provision included in both. The final measure will go to President Obama for his signature.
If signed into law, the focus will shift for those advocating to prevent the slaughter of our nation’s horses. Currently, U.S. horses are still being slaughtered — after being exported to slaughter facilities in Canada or Mexico. Our country exports approximately 138,000 horses for slaughter each year, according to Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), subcommittee chairman.
Dorian Ayache of Tennessee hauled horses across the country to the Mexico border to be slaughtered for meat until he was shut down by the Department of Transportation in 2012. A federal grand jury has charged him with three felony counts including conspiracy. While the charges are not directly related to the care of the horses, documents state Ayache’s company, Three Angels Farm, posed an imminent hazard to public safety.
If the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act is passed, it would not only permanently ban horse slaughter in the United States, but it would also prevent the live export of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.
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House Votes (28-22)
Yes votes: (think anti-slaughter)
Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Sam Farr (D-CA), Chakah Fattah (D-PA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Andy Harris (R-MD), Michael Honda (D-CA), David Joyce (R-OH), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim Moran (D-VA), Bill Owens (D-NY), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), David Price (D-NC), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Tom Rooney (R-FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Frank Wolf (R-VA)
No votes: (think pro-slaughter)
Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Mark Amodei (R-NV), John Carter (R-TX), Tom Cole (R-OK), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), John Culberson (R-TX), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Kay Granger (R-TX), Sam Graves (R-MO), Jaime Herrera Buetler (R-WA), Jack Kingston (R-GA), Tom Latham (R-IA), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS), Ed Pastor (D-AZ), Martha Roby (R-AL), Hal Rogers (R-KY), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Chris Stewart (R-UT), David Valadao (R-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR), Kevin Yoder (R-KS)
Peter Visclosky (D-IN)