House Panel Takes Action Against Slaughter

The language would cut off funding for the inspection of processing plants.

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee June 19 approved language in an agriculture bill that would prevent expenditures for the inspection of horse slaughter facilities—and ultimately keep them from operating.

Last year Congress passed an agriculture appropriations bill that didn’t include the ban on inspection expenditures. The language had been included in the legislation for at least five years.

Democratic Rep. James Moran of Virginia pushed for the language to be included in the agriculture bill. The amendment passed 24-21 but multiple approvals are necessary as the legislative process continues.

The move was hailed by various anti-slaughter groups, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Last November President Obama signed into law a broader bill that reversed the ban on the slaughter inspection funding. According to published reports at the time, the action could end the “ban” on horse slaughter brought about by the lack of funding.

In recent years the three remaining slaughter plants shut their doors. Federal legislation actually banning the process of horse slaughter has failed to pass Congress.

The 2011 legislation was tied to a federal General Accountability Office report from earlier in the year. The report concluded, among other things, that the ban on horse slaughter has led to increased case of horse abuse.

The American Horse Council June 20 reported the agriculture appropriations bill included other equine-related provisions, including funds for equine health programs and enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.