The House Appropriations Committee is poised to decide whether or not to block a wasteful and harmful expansion of the federal government, save taxpayer dollars, and — of particular interest to humanitarians — protect horses from being cruelly slaughtered for human consumption.
Later this week, the House Appropriations Committee will consider the FY14 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Last year, the Committee approved an amendment by voice vote, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) that prevented tax dollars from being used to fund inspections of horse slaughter facilities. This bipartisan language had been included in every Agriculture Appropriations bill since 2005, until three legislators quietly removed it behind closed doors late last year. Without this important provision, foreign-owned companies will be able to reestablish horse slaughter in the United States at the expense of taxpayers, food safety, and the welfare of horses. In fact, representatives of such companies are already making rounds looking for a plant location.
For the first time, President Obama has included this defund language in his FY14 budget proposal to Congress. While this isn’t binding, it does demonstrate the administration’s support for ending slaughter. Now Congress must follow in the president’s footsteps and support passage of this defund amendment before any plants open.
At a time when Congress is dramatically cutting back federal spending and eliminating federal programs, it is disappointing that some in Congress want to revive an unpopular taxpayer-subsidized program that existed solely to support foreign-owned slaughter facilities that inflicted tremendous suffering on American horses.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The full House Appropriations Committee will vote on the FY14 Agriculture Appropriations bill this week. An amendment will be offered by Rep. Moran to restore language prohibiting the USDA from spending your tax dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities. This language defunding USDA inspections of horse slaughter facilities is vital to protecting American horses. It is critical that you email or call TODAY and urge your legislator to strongly SUPPORT the Moran amendment to defund horse slaughter inspections.
You can call the main Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the office of your representative, or use AWI’s Compassion Index to quickly send an email or locate the direct office number, and view your legislator’s voting record on the issue. The majority of legislators on the House Appropriations Committee have supported previous efforts to end horse slaughter. If your representative has been among the ban’s supporters, mention that when you call and urge continued strong opposition to any effort to restore horse slaughter.
Please be sure to share this eAlert and ask friends, family, and coworkers to do the same. As always, thank you for your continued and critical support on this important issue.
Government and Legal Affairs