Anti-Slaughter Bill Introduced in U.S. House

Fines and jail time are among the penalties listed in the legislation.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana Sept. 19 as a companion to legislation already introduced in the U.S. Senate.

Burton’s bill, similar to ones that have been filed before, would prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption, the American Horse Council reported Sept. 21. The bill would amend the Horse Protection Act of 1970, which was tied to activities that accentuate the gait of horses.

The AHC said Burton’s bill, which has 56 co-sponsors, would prohibit the shipping, transporting, or sale of horses for slaughter for human consumption. Such activities would be a violation of the Horse Protection Act and subject any person that knowingly violates the law to penalties of up to $3,000 and/or one year in jail for the first offense, and up to $5,000 and/or two years in jail for a second offense. An offender may also be subject to civil penalties of $2,000 for each violation.

The legislation, which has been sent to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, authorized $5 million for enforcement, the AHC said.