Federal lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of horse slaughter operations within the US; end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad; and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 1942, was introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.). The ASPCA, Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Humane Society of the United States, and The Humane Society Legislative Fund announced their enthusiastic support for the legislation.
Last year, more than 140,000 American horses were slaughtered for human consumption in foreign countries. These animals often suffer long journeys to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico without adequate food, water or rest.
“For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride,” says Rep. Guinta. “To that end, horses are not raised for food – permitting their transportation for the purposes of being slaughtered for human consumption is not consistent with our values and results in a dangerously toxic product. This bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food.”
The SAFE Act would also protect consumers from dangerous American horse meat, which can be toxic to humans due to the unregulated administration of drugs to horses. Because horses are not raised for food, they are routinely given hundreds of toxic drugs and chemical treatments that are prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption.