A Renewed Effort to Stop the Slaughter of American Horses | The Keelen Group
A Renewed Effort to Stop the Slaughter of American Horses

Kudos to our client, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on their effort to stop the senseless slaughter of American Horses.  The HSUS recently convened a bi-partisan, bi-cameral group of lawmakers, veterinarians, and equine groups to show their support for legislation banning the slaughter and export of American horses for human consumption.

The bill comes on the heels of a horsemeat scandal in Europe, which is a main market for tens of thousands of American horses killed and butchered every year and shipped overseas to foreign consumers.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)., and Representatives Pat Meehan, (R-PA)., and Jan Schakowsky, (D-IL)., discussed their effort to advance legislation designed to prevent the slaughter and export of American horses for human consumption. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which was co-authored by Senator Lindsey Graham, (R-SC)., follows numerous press accounts of horse meat being unknowingly served to consumers throughout Europe.

While some may question why lawmakers are proposing new rules in the era of sequestration and declining budgets to crack down on a rare, yet unsavory, practice, there are a few reasons to advance and pass the legislation.

Primarily, horses are not raised for human consumption.  Throughout their lifetimes, horses are given a variety of drugs and medications that are not intended for the human food system; such as the common painkiller "bute"

used for treating ailing or lame horses, cocaine and cobra venom, and other "doping" drugs found in the horseracing industry.

There is currently no system in the U.S. to track medications and veterinary treatments given to horses to ensure that their meat is safe for humans, and it's a free-for-all when this tainted and contaminated meat is shipped to unsuspecting diners.

Additionally, if horse slaughter plants are opened in the U.S., it will be more difficult to prevent this kind of comingling between horsemeat and beef products that has occurred in Europe.

There has never been more urgency in passing this long overdue legislation, to protect tens of thousands of companion animals from a grisly death, and to prevent the meat from drugged-up horses from ending up in our grocery stores and cafeterias.

The Keelen Group is proud to help support HSUS and their efforts to treat animals humanly while protecting the food supply.

If you want to help advance this bill, please consider contacting your Member of Congress and ask them to support S. 541 (in the Senate) or H.R.1094 (in the House of Representatives).

- Aimee Nichols & Bud DeFlaviis