Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Agriculture Appropriations bill to block inspections of horse slaughter facilities by USDA officials. On Thursday the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider an identical amendment to their version of the FY14 Agriculture Appropriations bill.
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 and interests will be able to reestablish horse slaughter in the United States at the expense of taxpayers, food safety, and most dramatically, the welfare of horses. In fact, a horse slaughterhouse could open in New Mexico at any time.
President Obama 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. Congress must follow the president’s lead and support passage of this defund amendment in the FY14 Agriculture Appropriations bill before any plants open.
At a time when Congress is drastically 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 Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on the FY14 Agriculture Appropriations bill this week. An amendment will be offered by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) 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. If your senators are on the Appropriations Committee, it is critical that you email or call TODAY and urge them to strongly SUPPORT the Landrieu amendment to defund horse slaughter inspections.
You can call the main Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the offices of your senators, 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.
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