U.S. Sen. Max Baucus (MT), probably best known for his drunken ranting on the Senate floor, has stepped up to join Wyoming state Rep. Sue Wallis, recently under investigation by state agencies as well as the Wyoming House of Representatives, to lead the effort to legalize commercial horse slaughter for human consumption in the U.S.
Commercial horse slaughter has been illegal in the U.S. since 2007 though horses are still exported in the same numbers for slaughter for human consumption.
Baucus helped cobble together the now discredited June, 2011 Government Accountability Report on Horse Welfare which basically blamed lack of domestic slaughter for every problem with horses since 2007! Even though the U.S. has since suffered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Even though slaughter is a salvage market that represents less than 3 cents for every $100 of the horse industry and encourages overbreeding which means too many horses, low prices and greater risk of abandonment and neglect. Even though a ban on slaughter would actually greatly improve horse welfare in the U.S.
But no one ever accused politicians like Baucus and Wallis of being logical. Baucus has used his discredited GAO report to call on Congress not to de-fund antemortem inspections for horses. These inspections have been de-funded since 2006 and as a result, commercial horse slaughter has been illegal in the U.S. since that time.
The House of Representatives version of the current appropriations bill contains a ban on using funds for these inspections. The Senate version just voted out of the Senate Appropriations Committee does not. This means that the Senate version, if accepted by the full Senate, would allow the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) to conduct the antemortem inspections and horses could once again be slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S.
An analysis of the GAO Horse Welfare report by Equine Welfare Alliance and Animal Law Coalition, establishes the reasons the inspections were de-funded and domestic horse slaughter banned have not changed: the abject cruelty to the horses along the slaughter pipeline, the real danger of widespread debilitiating and fatal illnesses in consuming U.S. horsemeat, and the gross inability of USDA to enforce the weak humane transport laws for equines, and the economic and environmental devastation suffered by communnities where horse slaughter plants were located.
Why would we want slaughter back? And at a cost of $5 million and more each year to the federal government. As Americans Against Horse Slaughter co-founder, Debra Lopez, said, "Our government is broke yet they still want to spend money for the USDA to oversee animal abuse such as horse slaughter".
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The Senate will vote any time on the appropriations bill recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Please call your 2 U.S. Senators, found here with phone numbers, and urge them to "vote to de-fund the ante-mortem inspections to keep horse slaughter illegal in the U.S." And, urge them to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, S.B. 1176, which will ban exports of horses for slaughter for human consumption.
Don’t wait. Call now.