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Horse Slaughter

January 15, 2014

Updated: Horse Slaughter Ban Passes House And Senate

The bill funding the government for Fiscal Year 2014—which includes language that would de-fund inspections of horse slaughter plans, effectively banning slaughter in the United States—has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate and was signed into law by President Obama Jan. 17. The budget bill doesn’t allocate funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections of equine slaughterhouses.

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., added the language to the FY2014 Appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Agriculture, in June.

December 16, 2013

Court Lifts Horse Slaughter Ban

A federal appeals court on Dec. 14 removed the temporary ban preventing horse slaughter plants from opening.

The Federal Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver lifted the emergency ban barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture from conducting inspections on slaughter plants in three states—Iowa, Missouri and New Mexico—because the animal rights groups “failed to meet their burden for an injunction.”   

November 4, 2013

Updated: U.S. Judge Clears Horse Slaughter To Begin Again

U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo in Albuquerque, N.M., threw out a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and several other animal protection groups on Nov. 1. The lawsuit, filed in July, was seeking to block horse slaughter on the basis that the environmental impact hadn’t been properly considered.

June 28, 2013

Updated: USDA Officials Approve Two Slaughterhouses

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials approved the opening of a new equine slaughterhouse in New Mexico on June 28. The approval, a grant of inspection, was issued to Valley Meats Company in Roswell, N.M., and a second approval was issued to Responsible Transportation of Sigourney, Iowa, on July 2. USDA officials stated they expect to approve other applications soon.

June 14, 2013

House Appropriations Committee Votes To Block Horse Slaughter

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.

March 14, 2013

Bill Introduced To Ban U.S. Horse Slaughter

On March 12, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, which would ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States and prohibit the transport, export or import of horses intended for slaughter or horsemeat.

November 30, 2011

Domestic Horse Slaughter Prohibition Lifted

On Nov. 18, President Obama signed into law an agriculture appropriations bill, which, among many other provisions, lifted a 5-year prohibition on funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections at horse processing facilities.

October 25, 2011

Part 4: The State Of U.S. Horse Slaughter: The Challenge Of Unwanted Horses

What would have happened to the approximately 130,000 horses that were slaughtered in 2010 if slaughter hadn’t been an option? Would banning slaughter create a huge influx of unwanted horses? Would the horses potentially suffer even worse fates, starving to death or being let loose? The questions are even harder to answer since 2007, the first year without domestic slaughter, was also the year of a major economic downturn.

October 18, 2011

Part 3: The State Of U.S. Horse Slaughter: Is It Humane?

Once horses bound for slaughter reach the slaughterhouses, it's not clear whether they’re being humanely killed. Most slaughterhouses use captive bolt guns to drive a metal rod into the center of the horse’s head after the horses are herded through chutes into the “kill area.”

October 11, 2011

Part 2: The State Of U.S. Horse Slaughter: The Long Bridge To Nowhere

There are currently four Canadian slaughterhouses and three in Mexico. At either border, the horses are unloaded for processing and then re-loaded into a sealed trailer bound for their final stop. The conditions in which they ship and the distance they travel are just a few of the problems with the current slaughter pipeline.

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