MO 2010 Session Ends with No Horse Slaughter Law


Update May 14, 2010: Missouri’s 2010 legislative session has ended. Some say that’s a good thing for animals. The pro horse slaughter provisions, originally, H.B. 1747, buried in S.B. 795, were removed by the conference committee.

The provisions were not attached to any other bill prior to the end of the session.

As one legislative aide, speaking on condition of anonymity put it, "We don’t want to hear anymore about horse slaughter!"

In the final hours of the session, both the House and Senate approved the conference committee’s report reconciling the House and Senate versions of S.B. 795. The final version does not include the pro-horse slaughter provisions of H.B. 1747 that were attached to S.B. 795 a few weeks ago in the hopes of passing the legislation without animal welfare advocates finding out about it. 

S.B. 795 was sent to a conference committee because the Senate  refused to concur in the House Committee Substitute which passed the House with amendments, including the pro-horse slaughter provisions. 

Now go here to read how you can help pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, H.R. 503/S.B. 727, now pending in Congress.

For more on this bill and its history, read Animal Law Coalition’s reports below.

Update May 7, 2010:  The pro-horse slaughter provisions from Missouri H.B. 1747, that were sneakily buried in S.B. 795, an unrelated bill, were NOT withdrawn or removed by amendment from S.B. 795 on May 5 as previously reported.

At least 1 anti-slaughter lobbyist at the Capitol that day was given to understand the pro-slaughter provisions had been removed prior to the House vote on the bill. That was not true.  Last week state Sen. Dan Clemens said there would be no further legislative progress on H.B. 1747, the pro-horse slaughter bill, leading citizens to believe the bill was dead for this session. In the meantime, the pro-horse slaughter provisions were simply quietly buried in S.B. 795.

The Missouri House of Representatives debated the House Committee Substitute version of S.B. 795 this past week amidst a strong public outcry against the horse slaughter provisions buried in the bill. The pro-slaughter provisions were originally in H.B. 1747 introduced by state  Rep. James Viebrock. For more on this and how these provisions came to be buried in S.B. 795, read Animal Law Coalition’s reports below. 

Update April 30: This week the chair of the Missouri Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee, Sen. Dan Clemens, publicly announced "there will be no further legislative progress on H.B. 1747".

While he was making that announcement, Rep. James Viebrock had already moved the provisions of H.B. 1747 to another unrelated bill, S.B. 795.  The provisions of H.B. 1747 were attached to S.B. 795 which passed the House Agriculture Committee and scheduled for a vote by the full House of Representatives. Find a copy of the House Committee Substitute bill here.  Go here for more on S.B. 795. 

Also from Horseback Magazine, a look at the danger of eating American horses….

For more information about this bill, formerly H.B. 1747, read Animal Law Coalition’s earlier reports below.

Missouri state Rep. James Viebrock is the sponsor of H.B. 1747, (now  S.B. 795) which basically would also authorize registration and inspections for commercial horse slaughter for human consumption.

The bill proposes that the Missouri Dept. of Agriculture would register commercial horse slaughter operations and certify "that the parts of horses to be processed are fit for human food, and the processing establishment to be operated complies with … sanitary standards". All registration and inspection fees collected" would "be paid to the director of agriculture and deposited into the state ‘Horse Meat and Product Fund’". Annual inspection fees would be used "to pay for USDA inspection of horse meat products and horse meat processing facilities."

According to the bill, H.B. 1747, (now S.B. 795) "the [state] director [of Agriculture] shall make all necessary inspections and investigations" and the USDA would also have access "at all reasonable times to any building, room, vehicle, boat, or other premises in which any horse carcass, horse meat, or horse meat food product is processed, packed, transported, sold, exposed, or offered for sale at retail."

The USDA would be free to pay for samples or specimens of the carcass or "product" to determine if there are violations of USDA regulations.  

The new law would have requirements for labeling, remedies to protect against adulteration, misbranding, failure to label or brand, or unfitness for human consumption. Places that serve horsemeat would be required to post conspicuous warning signs.

The proposal, of course, is simply another tactic to promote horse slaughter with the hope of forcing a return of horse slaughter to this country.  This bill is similar to a number of bills and resolutions introduced in 2009 and several more this year, 2010, also offered in an effort to defeat the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, H.R. 503/S.B. 727, now pending in Congress and which would make it illegal to "possess…, ship…, transport…, purchase.., sell… deliver…, or receive" in interstate or foreign commerce any horse "with the intent that it is to be slaughtered for human consumption".   The latest of these bills to pass as part of the pro-slaughter disinformation campaign is a Wyoming law that sadly promotes sending horses to slaughter but not to rescues or sanctuaries.

Right now, commercial horse slaughter for human consumption is illegal in the U.S. though horses can be transported to other countries, typically Mexico and  Canada, for slaughter. Since 2006 Congress has de-funded ante-mortem inspections required to slaughter horses for human consumption. Congress continued the de-funding in the 2010 Appropriations Act, Sec. 744.

In 2007 a federal court rejected an attempt by the USDA to allow horse slaughter operators to pay for the inspections. The USDA is currently not authorized to conduct ante-mortem inspections of horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. Without those inspections, it is illegal under the Federal Meat Inspection Act ("FMIA"), 21 U.S.C. §§601(w)(1), 603, to slaughter horses for human consumption.

If this bill becomes law, it is not clear the USDA would authorize Missouri state inspectors to conduct the required inspections.  The funds to pay for the state as well as USDA inspections would come from horse slaughter operators, the same situation in the previous litigation. The judge in that case found the USDA  violated the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706 and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 42 U.S.C. § 4321, et seq., by failing to consider adequately, or, really, at all, the environmental impact of its action in allowing horse slaughter operators to pay for their own inspections.   

Also, there is strong opposition to horse slaughter in the U.S., and the goal is to pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, H.R. 503/S.B. 727, to end this brutal practice altogether for all American horses.  A similar bill passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority in 2006, a vote of 263 to 146, but was never voted on in the Senate.

horseIn 2007 a law in Texas, Texas Agriculture Code §§ 149.001-.007  was found to ban horse slaughter for human consumption and was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. A ban in Illinois, 225 ILCS 635, on horse slaughter for human consumption was upheld in 2008 by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. These state laws and court rulings closed the 3 facilities that were still slaughtering horses in the U.S.; those facilities were located in Texas and Illinois.  (Go here to read about and help oppose state Rep. Jim Sacia’s effort once again to overturn the Illinois ban on horse slaughter for human consumption; the Iliinois legislature and Illinois voters have never supported this effort. )

Horse slaughter is also illegal in California, CA Penal Code § 598c ("unlawful for any person to possess, to import into or export from the state, or to sell, buy, give away, hold, or accept any horse with the intent of killing, or having another kill, that horse, if that person knows or should have known that any part of that horse will be used for human consumption"). A Mississippi law, MS Code §75-33-3, states that the "term ‘food unfit for human consumption’ shall be construed to include meat and meat-food products of horses and mules.". In Oklahoma, 63 Okla. Stat. §1-1136, it is "unlawful for any person to sell, offer or exhibit for sale . . . any quantity of horsemeat for human consumption."

In 2009 the Rhode Island House of Representatives issued a resolution in support of a federal ban on commercial horse slaughter for human consumption.  A similar resolution is pending in California. A bill is pending in New York to ban commercial horse slaughter or trade in horse meat for human consumption.  Wisconsin, Senate Bill 142 would also ban horse slaughter. 


27 thoughts on “MO 2010 Session Ends with No Horse Slaughter Law”

  1. Who are these people?! I’m getting right on the fool, er, Representative in Illinois who is trying to overturn current law that closed our horse slaughter operations down. I’m thinking he doesn’t represent many. Thanks so much for this important reporting.

  2. I’d say this is rediculous, but the move toward slaughter is becoming downright dangerous for equines, communities, and the public. Legislators and ordinary Americans are only getting selected parts of a very complex story.

    Will the restaurant signs say, “WARNING, consuming horsemeat can do permanent damage and/or kill you and your family”? What happens when the so-called “excess” and “unwanted” horses have been slaughtered? Theft of personal horses? Raising horses exclusively for their meat? This has gone way too far!

    We’ve got to prevent these bills from falling victim to “death by committee”, and get Congress to pay attention to the “straight poop” on slaughter.

  3. Horse slaughter has started again in Wyoming and I think in Masschus> A law was recently passed that surendered and seized horse can be humanely slauhtered for prison inmates consumption. There are other horses going to slaughter as there was a hugh auction in Marion ,WI today and I know there was a kill buyer going to be there.


  5. This violates all humane laws and is the utmost in cruelty especially BLM!
    When is this all going to be stopped?
    BLM needs to be sued up the kazoo for
    the crimes they have committed against
    our horses and any state wishing to pass a slaughter house needs to be
    charged with cruelty and these jobs
    banned. Horses need to be our protected
    companion animals. BAN THESE JOBS!!

  6. I’m originally from Massachusetts, so I got on the phone to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as soon as I read your comment.

    I just spoke with a representative at the MSPCA Nevin’s Farm Horse Rescue. She said, to the very best of her knowledge, there are no horses being slaughtered for human consumption in the state. She also said that if horses were being slaughtered for human comsumtion in MA, the MSPCA would be the first to hear about it.

    If there is credible information to the contrary, PLEASE put it up here, or at the Cloud Foundation or Straight from the Horse’s Heart blog. Please don’t “think” something. Verify.

  7. debra, i am a resident of massachusetts & we do NOT have any such law in our state. as far as i know, wyoming is the only state in which such a law has passed, specifically stating that horse meat can be served to the prison populations. horse slaughter is NOT happening in massachusetts. .
    jo bunny

  8. It seems to me that there should be a way to challenge the vote of a bill of which the legislators openly and publicly stated that they were going to vote for slaughter purely out of spite. If this were a court case, it would be a mistrial.

    Also, the Senate has not vet voted; if they don’t vote it in, it will not pass.

    There is also a very bad puppy mill admendment added onto this bill.

    Real great state, Missouri. Maybe they should change the spelling to Misery.

  9. Trying to make extra money again? Get rid of your greedy unions! Horse slaughter went out with grandma’s bloomers!

  10. This is absolutely disgraceful!!! To me they are saying it is quite alright to commit animal abuse. Make no mistake this IS ANIMAL ABUSE !!I guess they are in bed with the ranchers like the blm.The ranchers are the slave owners & they are the slave. It is. Yes, of course, what ever you say, I HAVE NO WILL OF MY OWN. They have no pride in keeping this away now they want the shame of having a new one.I guarantee I will no longer eat beef not when the owners are so abusive as to insure the death of walking history. If you don’t have enough land to feed your cattle there is one ans. CUT BACK THEIR HERDS!!!! They have NO right taking these animals from their lands torturing them, threatening people you have sunk to real lows & anyone that goes along with these plans or indeed wants to do more to add to the torture are shameful & I have to wonder how many of the conspirators are serial killers torture of animals is how they start. If this plan goes ahead you have a swinging stone were your heart should be. If you have one shred of decency & integrety left you WILL STOP THIS IDEA. This plan is that of a coward it takes guts to go against it & stand up for what is RIGHT. I doubt you have any.

  11. Commercial horse slaughter for human consumption is illegal in the U.S. No state including WY, MA can change that with a state law. What Wy has done is pass a law that leads people to think slaughter is or could be legal and to convince them it is a public service for "abandoned" horses. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is more on the WY law:

  12. better hope they will not be built
    and the meat shipped abroad or put
    on the American menus like Slaughterhouse Sue Wallace wants..
    TN, MI, CO, etc…all want to kill
    off our horses and encourage that
    overbreeding continue…business as
    usual is what this screams out..
    Neglect/abandon is the responsibility
    of the owner or contact animal rescues.
    Talk to your vet about low-cost euthanzia and bury on your large pieces
    of property…that they all seem to have -hence the reason they neglect
    and starve the horses in the first place…they have large properties to
    bury them on after euthanasia…and have way to many to begin with…
    All horse slaughter plants do is encourage whey they existed for 50
    years..same story, same solution..
    breed, slaughter, breed, slaughter..
    Slaughter never solved the problem, now
    did it? Otherwise it would have stopped long long ago.

  13. e-quine

    i want to run as far as i can
    where it is safe
    away from man
    i want the grass, the field, the trees
    away from civilization’s disease…
    i want to run i will always try
    i will run until i die

  14. Been faxing and emailing all day. So far have gotten numerous auto responses “thank you for the email” Have had only one personal response from the iPhone of Rep. Jim Guest “will vote yes” Thanked him for his response and noted that it would be catalogued for future voting.

  15. Hi, Morgan ~ I do not live in Missouri, but I do love horses and I’m completely against horse slaughter; I already fought this battle once & helped to close down the 3 horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. I sent everyone on the list an email with the subject being Vote NO on S.B. 795 and the body simply stated
    A. I am OPPOSED TO H.Committee Sub Bill S.B. 795
    B. Vote NO to H.Committee Sub, S.B. 795!
    C. I will NEVER set foot in Missouri, or spend ANY MONEY in Missouri, if you pass S.B. 795
    Received the following ‘responses’ from
    Curt Doughtery:
    “Feel free to boycott Missouri . We will not miss you.”
    David Day
    “Thanks for taking time to contact my office and issue your threat.
    Have a great day.”

    David Day
    State Representative
    148th District

    Chairman – Veterans Affair; Vice Chairman – State Parks & Waterways
    Committee on General Laws;Committee on Professional Registration & Licensing
    Joint Committee on Terrorism, Bioterrism, and Homeland Security

    Pretty sad when elected officials/legislators can get away with things such as this; and it’s not just Missouri, it’s rampant throughout this nation. I can NEVER recall anything like this happening in my voting lifetime and I’m 59..VERY SCARY !!Sharon

  16. Who is Doughtery? Is he an elected official?


    Also, I think far more effective than emailing or faxing — although it IS noteworthy and noticed, is to actually call and speak with someone person to person. Let them know your concerns and when you DO email and fax, don’t give them any “ammo” — such as threats, etc.

    Janet Ferguson

  17. I don’t live in Missouri either but I have friends there who have friends who have families yada yada yada. In answer to David Day–you might not miss me but you will certainly miss my money. Just ask Arizona when Los Angeles threatened to terminate all contracts with Arizona. You are right, I have never seen politicians so smarmy. I guess they have forgotten that they are there to serve not ridicule the people and that anyone they insult now just might have occasion to move there someday and could very well have voting friends and families. Of course anyone who wants to eat a horse is not OK in my book and anything they do after that is a moot point. In in the FINAL answer to Mr. Day–Yes, we ARE having a good day. When I saw the subject line of this message I nearly flipped over my chair with joy. Hallelujah!!!

  18. 5-6-2010 These pro-horse slaughter lobbyists and corporate politicians will somehow slip this language into another bill. So attorneys watch out!

    It’s akin to (D) NV U.S. Senator Harry Reid enticing former (R )MT U.S. Senator Conrad Burns to take care of Nevada’s perceived wild horse problem by inserting a hidden one-page rider(Reid/Burns rider) into a 3,300 page budget-appropriations bill on the eve of the bill’s congressional deadline in December 2004. The rider removed federal protection for wild horses.

    Betty Kelly
    Carson City NV

  19. Dear Anonymous, You are right to say it is disgraceful and that it takes guts to stand up for what is right. I’m wondering why you are not taking your own advice about not being a slave to the thoughts of others. Why haven’t you stopped eating the flesh of cows, who are just as innocent as horses, even though our culture has declared that they are food? Don’t you want to defy, by your actions, such a backwards view of ALL animals, not just horses? Wouldn’t you like to have nothing to do with “products” that come from harming any and all animals? If no one bought “beef,” these ranchers would have no business left and the horses would be left in peace (maybe!).

    Just a little something for you to ponder, since you are obviously a thinking, caring, ethical soul. !!!! 🙂

  20. I was wondering if anyone had heard

    about horse meat needing to be refrigerated
    in a separate refrigerator from other meats,
    and why.

    I am interested to find out if the Europeans
    do this, since they consume horse meat.

  21. horsemeat is a very bloodie meat because a horse has almost twice the blood volume as a cow to begin with.

    Horse meat also spoils very fast and so I think they freeze it asap and ship the meat overseas FROZEN.

    Horsemeat is not HUNG and AGED like cow meat is.

    when you see horsemeat raw in stores its a bloodie drippie meat and so I guess they keep meat seperate because they don’t want that toxin filled horsemeat to drip all over the other meat that isn’t full of toxic cancer causing drugs.

  22. Why would you ask a question like this or am I mis-understanding what’s going on at this site.
    People are actually answering your question..oh my GOD.
    Perhaps next we might consider eating dogs and cats, there are plently of them around and they put many of them down everyday because they can’t find homes for them. Why not eat them? What the heck, I just don’t understand any of this.
    Not eating meat is probably better, although I do from time to time. I do however have learned that when I do, I get very sick to my stomach so what is that saying to this human body. Maybe a long time ago meat was safe to eat but it isn’t anymore.

  23. This topic was entered into the discussion when Calif. banned horse slaughter back in 1998.
    Testimony was given about storage of the horse meat, but I never know the ” why”,Thank You for the reply.

    Another reason for banning horse slaughter. Horses are just not to be eaten. They stopped using
    it in dog food years ago.

  24. A ray of hope gleans in MO! I just spoke for 40 minutes w/Rep Harris & she stated she is confident that SB 795 will be passed WITHOUT horse slaughter or pro-factory farming language!!! Because the bill contains vital funding and the issue is SO controversial they are not confident the Gov would sign the bill, it is UNLIKELY it will be included in the final version! ONLY 3 days left to be heard!

  25. Here’s what I said. . . I’ll let you know if I receive any responses:

    Mahatma Ghandi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated…I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by [people] from the cruelty of [human kind].” That respect and protection of animals must extend to the American icon, the horse. I spent a great deal of my young life in St. Louis, with friends at Washington University. I have always found your state beautiful and I love the people I know there. Missouri is better than this law. I don’t know the motivations behind this legislation, but I can think of nothing that would support Missouri’s endorsement of this brutal, un-American practice.

    Therefore, please do not support this portion of SB 795 in your reconciliation of this bill. It does not reflect the good people of your state.

  26. just to talk about this outrages me. I figure everyone who has consumed horsemeat will someday have to deal with cancer it has caused, I heard it causes herpes, who knows what else. the cancer it gives, I feel, is justice….bless our horses

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