How Can We Promote the Health & Safety of America’s Horses?

Slaughter-bound Wind River mare Amazing Grace and 6 foals rescued from a CO kill pen arrive at TCF equine vet Dr. Lisa Jacobson’s ranch in late August of 2023 to begin their road to freedom.

March 1 was National Horse Protection Day, we wanted to take a look at an important pending federal legislation to protect our beloved equines – the Save America’s Forgotten Equines, or SAFE Act, H.R.3475/S.2037.

What is the SAFE Act? It would amend the 2018 Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act, which bans the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption, by adding the words “or equines” to the prohibition – thus protecting our nation’s most beloved companion animal species from the horrors of the slaughter process.

Roughly 20,000 American equines are exported every year to meat companies in Canada and Mexico, where they are subject to horrible cruelty before being butchered and their meat exported to foreign countries for human consumption — including China and Russia. For decades, advocates have worked to get this important bill passed, but despite broad public support, our efforts have been thwarted by the political influence of meat industry groups.

But now we have a two-pronged opportunity to get the protections needed.

First, Congress is now considering the 2023 Farm Bill, a must-pass piece of legislation that was the vehicle for passing the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act in 2018. As with that bill, we are asking Congress to add the SAFE Act as an amendment to the 2023 Farm Bill.

Second, even if the Farm Bill strategy is unsuccessful, the SAFE Act will continue as a free-standing bill that Congress can pass on its own merits. A majority of House members have signed onto the bill making it eligible for a committee hearing, yet it remains stuck with no hearing scheduled.

Here is where we most need your advocacy — to convince Congress to schedule the bill for a hearing so it advances to the full House for a vote.

The slaughter pipeline is an unimaginably horrific experience for horses and other equines. As natural prey animals they experience extreme misery and terror throughout the process. The entire slaughter pipeline — including the terror and chaos of the auction barns and kill pens, the misery of transport on crowded trucks to Canada and Mexico, and the killing itself — is incapable of being humane.

If we are unsuccessful in adding the SAFE Act as an amendment to the 2023 Farm Bill, it will be another FIVE YEARS before we have another Farm Bill opportunity. Similarly, if we are unsuccessful in getting it to move forward as a free-standing bill, we will have to wait until the next Congress in 2025 to begin the process again.

In other words, the time to act is NOW – and what better time than National Horse Protection Day?

Please give this legislation a look. If, like so many, you feel that it’s time to take our equines out of the slaughter pipeline – as we did for our dogs and cats – please let your congressional representatives know that you support H.R. 3475/S. 2037 – The SAFE Act of 2023.

Please join us in working to make a significant impact in eradicating slaughter for America’s horses — wild and domestic.

The Cloud Foundation