House committee rejects horse kill ban

by Erica Shaffer
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WASHINGTON – The US House Appropriations Committee defeated an amendment to the fiscal 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill that would have extended a ban on slaughter of horses for human consumption. Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) introduced the provision which failed on a tie vote of 24-24.

The Humane Society of the United States expressed disappointment that the committee didn’t approve the ban on horse slaughter.

“The horse slaughter industry is a predatory, inhumane enterprise,” Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer for HSUS, said in a statement. “They don’t ‘euthanize’ old horses, but precisely the opposite: they buy up young and healthy horses, often by misrepresenting their intentions, and kill them to sell the meat to Europe and Japan.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to take up a similar provision.

Several companies have been trying to get into the horse slaughter business with plans to export the meat. But the Congressional budget passed in 2014 included a provision prohibiting the US Department of Agriculture from spending any money for inspections at horse slaughter facilities. The provision effectively ended horse slaughter in the United States a second time. In 2006, horse slaughter opponents successfully pushed through a measure defunding horse-meat inspections.

But a 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office revived the issue. The GAO said the ban on horse slaughter resulted in an upswing in abandoned horses, a drop in prices for some horses and a sharp increase in exports of horses for slaughter. Congress lifted the ban on funding inspections the same year.
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