The Truth Behind the Lifting of the Horse Slaughter BanPublished December 5, 2011
Courtesy of Shelley Abrams
Horse lovers who are aware of the horrors that horse slaughter entails often get highly emotional about this topic. So after I read reports emphasizing President Obama’s broken 2008 campaign promises to both ensure a ban on horse slaughter that produced meat for human consumption and to end the transport of horses to slaughterhouses outside the United States, I hastily wrote an angry piece titled Horse Slaughter Ban Lifted. I have to confess that my objective journalistic perspective flew out of the window.
After talking with people far more knowledgeable than I about how the horse slaughter ban was lifted, I gained a more balanced perspective on horse slaughter facts and felt compelled to share these facts with readers who may be blaming Obama for horse slaughter possibly resuming.
At the same time, I'd also like to invite all animal lovers to get involved to help reach a permanent solution in order that horse slaughter finally may be abolished.
Here are the horse slaughter facts:
In 2006, Congress added language to the Agricultural Appropriations bill de-funding horse meat inspections. The language in this bill remained intact for five years, and was only meant to be a short term "fix" until a federal bill to prohibit horse slaughter and the transport of horses outside the country for slaughter was finally passed.
By quietly removing the 2006 language, two pro-slaughter members of Congress lifted the five-year-old ban de-funding inspections on horse meat and opened the door to legal horse slaughter resuming in the U.S. As Elayne Boosler, (writer/comedian/animal activist) succinctly put it in her recent piece on Huff Post Green, “This Trojan Horse rode in on the budget bill.”
In order to keep the government afloat, it was critical to have this appropriations bill passed. Many sponsors of the anti-slaughter legislation had to sign it and regretfully, so did our President. Most importantly, however, is the fact that nowhere in the bill is horse slaughter, or the ban being lifted, even mentioned.
However, Congress failed to allocate new funding for horse meat inspections, resulting in the cost of $5 million or more a year to taxpayers.
Horse slaughter proponents would like you to believe horses destined for slaughter are no longer useful and slaughtering them is an act of kindness. In fact, the majority of these horses are healthy and fit.
The only way to put an end to horse slaughter is by having federal legislation passed which will trump appropriations bills. Already, The American Horse Slaughter Prevention bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate. But more co-sponsors are needed to sign on for a better chance for finally getting these bills to the floor for a vote.
There is a silver lining in this dark cloud which has always been called "America's dirty little secret.” This event has brought horse slaughter out in the open with many more people now aware of what is happening. Our fight is not over! We must get busy getting more co-sponsors to support Senate bill S 1176 and House Bill H.R.2966 . Our beloved horses need your help!
Take action! Call your members of Congress to find out when their next Town Hall meeting will be held. Show up and tell them politely that horse slaughter is unacceptable, and any representative supporting it will lose your vote.
Many thanks to Shelley Abrams and Debra Lopez, the co-founders of Americans Against Horse Slaughter for posting this crucial clarification on the AAHS Facebook page.
AAHS has provided a link to the AWI Compassion Index to easily find your legislators and their contact information.
How do you feel about the legalization of horse meat? Share with a comment.