U.S. Senate Ignores Horse Slaughter Issue

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Sarah Andrew photo

Edited Press Release

The U.S. Senate passed a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill Tuesday without any provision to ban the export of live horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter for human consumption, putting in jeopardy the anti-slaughter provision adopted more than a month ago in the House by a voice vote.

The Senate assembled anew its Infrastructure bill, taking the House bill and number, H.R. 3684, the INVEST Act, but little else. The Senate effectively stripped an amendment led by U.S. Reps. Troy Carter, D-La., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., John Katko, R-N.Y., Dina Titus, D-Nev., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. and conceived by Animal Wellness Action to H.R. 3684 that would have banned the transport of equines across state and federal lines for the purposes of slaughter for human consumption.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J., made an attempt to keep the anti-slaughter transport language in play by filing his own amendment #2296, but that effort gained no momentum, with few Senators treating the anti-slaughter provision in a serious-minded way.

“We are disappointed the Senate continues to treat the ongoing slaughter of tens of thousands of horses as anything but an urgent matter,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, who was recently honored by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, II for his work to protect horses. “Here was an opportunity to solve a major animal welfare problem that the American public overwhelmingly supports and that's been circulating in the Senate for a quarter century. House Members should vote against the Senate-passed infrastructure bill or amend the measure to restore the anti-slaughter language.”

“We've watched tens of thousands of horses endure a horrible passage to Canada and Mexico every year and then get slaughtered at foreign abattoirs for a small segment of consumers in Asia and Europe,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Center for a Humane Economy. “Americans want to see this ruthless and predatory industry stop gathering up and victimizing American horses and burros. Failing to take up this issue was a terrible missed opportunity for the Senate.”

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