Friday, May. 31, 2024

Senate Passes Bill to Investigate Horse Welfare After Horse Slaughter Plants Close

Two provisions in a new piece of government legislation will directly affect horse welfare and horse slaughter in the United States. On Oct. 8, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives approved the final version of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R.2997).

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Two provisions in a new piece of government legislation will directly affect horse welfare and horse slaughter in the United States. On Oct. 8, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives approved the final version of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R.2997).

This bill addresses concerns about horses’ welfare after the last of three U.S. horse slaughter facilities closed in 2007. (SeeIllinois State Senate Votes To Ban Horse Slaughter.”)

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The bill directs the Government Accountability Office to investigate the status of horse welfare by March 1. The GAO will review how slaughter facilities’ closings influenced horse sales, exports, adoptions and abandonment, and how these changes affect farm income, state and local government organizations, and animal protection organizations.  The GAO will examine how the USDA oversees the transport of horses destined for slaughter in foreign countries.

If President Obama signs the bill, another provision will prohibit funding for USDA officials to inspect horsemeat for human consumption. This effectively bans horse slaughter plants from operating in the United States for the fiscal year 2010.

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