“For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride,” said Rep. Guinta. “To that end, horses are not raised for food – permitting their transportation for the purposes of being slaughtered for human consumption is not consistent with our values and results in a dangerously toxic product. This bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food.”
Photo © Humane Society of United States
Lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent the re-establishment of horse slaughter operations within the United States. The bill would also end the current export of American horses for slaughter in Canada and Mexico.
The Safeguard American Food Exports or SAFE Act 2015, H.R. 1942, was introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) last week.
More than 140,000 American horses were butchered in Canada and Mexico last year, according to the Humane Society of the United States. More than 90% of horses that end up at slaughter houses are said to be healthy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently bans the presence of 379 common equine drugs in animals slaughtered for human consumption. There is no procedure in place to ensure that American horses, sold to slaughterhouses and killed for human consumption, are free of FDA-banned substances.
A delicacy, the meat is sent overseas for consumption. The SAFE Act would also protect consumers from the potentially toxic American horse meat.