Horse Slaughter Legislation Reintroduced
by: Pat Raia
January 16 2009
New legislation aimed at stemming the export of horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Jan. 14. Sponsored by Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich) and Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) HR 503, the Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, prohibits the transport, sale, delivery, or export of horses for slaughter for human consumption. It also criminalizes the purchase, sale, delivery, or export of horsemeat intended for human consumption.
Violators would face fines and/or one year imprisonment for a first offense or those involving five or fewer horses, and fines and/or three years imprisonment for repeat offenses or those involving more than five horses.
The new bill is essentially the same as HR 6598, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008, also introduced by Conyers and Burton in July 2008. The committee passed that bill in September, but it never received a full House vote.
"It's a new Congress, so the bill has to go through the process from the beginning with a new name," said Nancy Perry, vice president of Government Affairs for the Humane Society of the United States. "But HR 6598 underwent so much scrutiny, we feel this bill will reach the full House quickly." Link
Here we go again. A bill to ban the transport or sale of a horse for human consumption has been introduced again in Congress. It is important to remember that regardless of how the government or animal rights extremists want to categorize horses, they are livestock. And this bill is an assault on the livestock industry that still depends on horses to a certain degree. Be sure to contact your delegation in Congress about this issue. Be assured that the animal rights crowd is.