The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted on June 13 to eliminate funding for federal meat inspections at horse slaughter facilities. If it makes its way through the entire legislative process, this would effectively stop efforts to resume horse slaughter in the United States.
The amendment, introduced by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., forbids the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect horse-processing plants in the 2014 fiscal year.
A similar block happened in 2005, but it was not renewed in 2011 or 2012. Although there are currently no horse slaughter plants operating in this country, at least six companies have put in applications with the USDA to begin processing horses for export.
However, this measure would not make killing horses for human consumption illegal. It only blocks funding for inspections that all meat processing plants, no matter the species, must undergo to remain open.
The Safeguard American Food Exports Act is currently being considered by both the House and the Senate and would ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption as well as make it illegal to transport, export or import horses intended for slaughter or horsemeat. The SAFE Act is currently in committees in both the House and the Senate.