Published July 16, 2017
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 on an amendment that would prevent the slaughter of horses for human consumption on U.S. soil. The amendment is to the agriculture appropriations bill that bars spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect horse slaughterhouses and was offered by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D – CA, and Charlie Dent, R – PA. The vote to defund inspections for slaughterhouses that would slaughter our nation’s horses, failed by a vote of 25-27. This means that taxpayer dollars can now be used to fund the inspections of these slaughterhouses.
Hidden inside The US Government’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal is a single sentence that could potentially end the lives of the over 55,000 wild horses currently held captive in holding pens throughout the country.
This sentence requests the authority to use all management tools provided by the 1971 Wild Horse and Burros Act; including removing some restrictions that currently prohibit the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from using authority due to language included in the Interior Appropriations Acts.
“What concerns me about this budget is what does to America’s most cherished treasure, our wild horses,” says Steve Israel, former 16-year Democratic Congressman from New York and CANA Foundation special advisor.
The proposed budget calls for a management plan “including humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals.” The unrestricted sale of excess horses is alternative language that means that these wild horses could certainly be sold for slaughter – as the protections and restrictions that prevent meat buyers for purchasing wild horses illegally would immediately be removed. It is not clear yet if the BLM would seek funding to euthanize the excess horses, or if they plan on selling them to the highest bidder. The budget also does not clarify if the BLM is seeking to eliminate all wild horses in long-term holding, or merely reduce their numbers.
“The freedoms that our wild horses are losing represent the freedoms that we as Americans are losing to the US government, private corporations and corrupt special interests. Our wild horses are being held captive at taxpayer expense to allow private interests to profit from our public entities. We the people are vehemently opposed to allowing our wild horses to be rounded up, held captive or shipped off to slaughter,” says Manda Kalimian, CANA Foundation founder and advocate for horses, humans and habitats.
The Congressional markup to decide if this language provision is included will happen in the next two weeks. By Tuesday, July 18, the full appropriations committee will be voting on the language. In total, over the last 50 years, America’s wild horses have lost over forty percent of their natural habitat. Public lands are being fought over, exploited and overburdened. Overgrazing, ranching and water issues are contributing to horses now becoming “collateral damage.” Humanely addressing the plight of wild horses redirects the restoration to US land.
“Without horses, we’re going to forget how to be humans. It’s time to rewild,” states Mo Brings Plenty, an Oglala Lakota descendant of Sitting Bull.
Below is how members of Congress voted.
Voted YES on protecting horses from slaughter ● Aguilar (D-CA) ● Bishop – (D-GA) ● Cartright – (D-PA) ● Clark – (D-MA) ● Delauro – (D-CT) ● Dent – (D-PA) ● Joyce – (R-OH) ● Kaptur – (D-OH) ● Kilmer – (D-WA) ● Lee – (D-CA) ● Lowey – (D-NY) ● Mccolum – (D-MN) ● Meng – (D-NY) ● Pingree- (D-ME) ● Pocan – (D-WI) ● Price – (D-NC) ● Quigley – (D-IL) ● Rooney – (R-FL) ● Roybal-Allard – (D-CA) ● Ruppersberger – (D-MD) ● Ryan – (D-OH) ● Serrano – (D-NY) ● Visclosky- (D-IN) ● Wasserman Schultz -(D-FL) ● Yoder- (R-KS)
Voted NO on protecting horses from slaughter:
● Amodei – (R-NV) ● Calvert – (R-CA) ● Carter – (R-TX) ● Aderholt (R-AL) – no ● Cole – (R-OK) ● Cuellar – (D-TX) ● Culberson – (R-TX) ● Diaz Balart – (R-FL) ● Fleischmann – (R-TN) ● Fortenberry – (R-NE0 ● Frelinghuysen – (R-NJ) ● Granger – (R-TX) ● Graves – (R-MO) ● Harris – (R-MD) ● Herrerra Buetler – (R-WA) ● Jenkins – (R-WV) ● Moolenaar – (R-MI) ● Newhouse – (R-WA) ● Palazzo – (R-MS) ● Roby – (R-AL) ● Rogers – (R-KS) ● Simpson – (R-ID) ● Stewart – (R-UT) ● Taylor – (R-VA) ● Valadao – (R-CA) ● Womack – (R-AR) ● Young – (R-IA)