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Back You are here: Home Politics In Politics Congress EQUINE WELFARE: Slaughter Prevention Act

EQUINE WELFARE: Slaughter Prevention Act

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HORSE walfare charities

Equine lovers received good news this week when a prominent US governor gave backing to a new bill ending the slaughter and sale of horses for human consumption.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a new bill prohibiting the practice which ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has described as “inherently cruel”.

ASPCA is promoting the animal welfare bill, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, and urging more supporters across the country to lobby their federal lawmakers to adopt it.

The Act makes it illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption, bans the sale of horse meat, and prohibits the transport of horse meat or live horses for slaughter.

Horse meat is not eaten in the US but currently it can be shipped abroad.

Congress temporarily ended the domestic slaughter of American horses in 2005 by voting to end funding inspections for horse slaughter facilities. However, in 2011 Congress omitted language on funding cuts from the Department of Agriculture spending bill, therefore ushering in the practice again in the US.

National research has shown 80 per cent of Americans, including 71 per cent of horse owners are opposed to the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

ASPCA has described its success in New Jersey, where horses are the official state animal, as a “crucial victory" in an ongoing campaign for a total ban on the trade.

ASPCA’s supporters in New Jersey include equestrian Jessica Springsteen, daughter of local hero, Bruce Springsteen.

Currently the export and slaughter of 100,000 American horses takes place each year.

But charities claim the practices are often inhumane. The US Department of Agriculture found that more than 92 per cent of horses sent to slaughter are in good condition, which equine activists say confirms that the trade is fuelled by external demand for horse meat.

Currently, the USA Congress is reviewing the Act.

The bill is also supported by other charities including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) who have also welcomed the result in New Jersey.


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