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Senator in late bid to change anti-slaughter provisions

Jim Inhofe

Jim Inhofe

A Republican senator from Oklahoma has proposed a late amendment to the omnibus spending bill before Congress this week in a bid to clear the path for US horse slaughter plants.

Jim Inhofe proposes striking out the language that blocks the United States Department of Agriculture from inspecting horse slaughter plants, effectively banning such facilities.

However, horse advocacy groups have voiced their confidence that changes to the bill would seem unlikely to succeed at this late stage.

Inhofe, in proposing the amendment, said: “I am very concerned that the omnibus appropriations bill includes a provision that blocks government inspection of horse processing facilities, effectively shutting down this industry.

“Without these facilities, aging horses are often neglected or forced to endure cruel conditions as they are transported to processing facilities across the border.

“This provision is counterproductive to what animal rights activists are hoping to achieve through this provision. That is why I am offering an amendment to strike the provision, which would reinstate these inspections.”

Inhofe and Congressman Markwayne Mullin, another Oklahoma Republican, plan to introduce standalone legislation on this issue if the amendment is not adopted.

The last three horse slaughter plants on US soil closed in 2007 under state laws, with Congress defunding required inspections which made it impossible for them to open in other states. This remained the case until 2011, when the defunding language was removed by a small conference subcommittee from an agriculture bill.

The new bill reinstates the language, but goes one step further. It carries a stipulation that funding cannot be restored unless the Food and Drug Administration makes a determination that meat from American horses can be made safe for human consumption.

Earlier report 

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Comments (20)

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  1. dk says:

    His neighbors to the south — Texas, worked very hard to get rid of their horse slaughter plants and finally found an old law on the books that was used to shut them down. Didn’t he learn anything from that? Illinois shut their’s down. South Carolina shut theirs down. California shut their’s down. Maybe he will actually read for comprehension the following website:

    http://kaufmanzoning.net/

    • Mark Nelson says:

      Thank you, Senator Inhofe, for trying to put some sanity back in this discussion. Thank you for having the insite to understand that this will not benefit the horses, only the agenda of “animal rights” groups who make their money preying on the emotions of the uninformed public.

      • Deedie says:

        Oh, my God! Thank-you??? You are thanking a man who thinks that because it got cold last week that global warming is a hoax? You are thanking a man who wishes to bring a barbaric, deceptive, cruel, tax dollar wasting practice such as horse slaughter back to the US? Dear God. Have you lost you mind??

      • Zig Pope says:

        So merciless multi hit with a bolt gun and terrorizing stench of a bloody death is humane?

        In your mind, your “selfless” killing of your over bred throw away horses, is more important than killing someone else’s kid with your toxic meat?

        The only people that benefit off this brutal unethical and immoral industry are the godless over breeders that want American taxpayers to pay for your bloody greed.

        This is not about the horses, this is about your wallet.

      • Syroko says:

        Ivanhoe continues to perpetuate the blatant lie that slaughter is necessary for old horses. This is completely untrue. Processing plants do not want old, thin horses. The vast majority of horses slaughtered are young and in good flesh. He also ignores the sharp decline in European demand due to the recent over seas scandal where horse meat was fraudulently passed as beef. Simply because there are those who continue to over breed and flood a depressed market even during an economic downturn does not mean that there are people lining up to eat the excess. Horse slaughter is a business, not a humane disposal service for irresponsible breeders.
        Horses are not raised or regulated as food animals here.

  2. dk says:

    Sometimes I wonder how these politicians can vote on issues without learning about them. This is one of those politicians, and this is one of those times.

  3. floridagirl says:

    Us “horse advocates” are certain that butchering horses will not be good for horses or the poor souls that dare to eat the toxic meat. So do us all a real favor and lobby to open a horse sanctuary, not run by you of course because you dont really care about horses welfare ,and i think you are quite cruel to even suggest that slaughter has anything to do with kindness. But thanks for putting your names out , i will not vote for you for anything!!!!!

    • Belgian.grl says:

      He’s a career politician. Talk to the people that have kept this loser in office forever. Thank God we have term limits and he is approaching them. Not soon enough..VOTE HIM OUT

  4. CowboyRox says:

    Just another horse killing Republican. Shocker!!

  5. Susan Humphrey says:

    I hope this amendment goes through. Not a single horse was saved by closing down domestic plants: they just had a longer transport across borders to Canada and Mexico and were slaughtered anyway. Having domestic slaughter plants will be better for horses no longer wanted for any other purpose as they will have to be run under US Animal Welfare Laws. Unwanted horses are very similar to the dogs and cats killed in shelters in this country on a daily basis. One big difference is the meat of horses is valuable and is an amenable species under the US Federal Meat Inspection Act. The USDA has new tests to ensure the meat is safe to eat and there are many countries that eat horse meat in the same way we eat beef.
    In a fairy tale world there is a happy forever home for every animal. This is reality: over 150,000 US horses are slaughtered every single year.

    • maryann says:

      Horse Slaughter is not humane….I certainly do not want one in my area..no one’s horses are safe. The scumbags cut your fences, remove your horses out of pastures and barn stalls and they are down the road before you know they are missing. IF you are pro-slaughter, you have NEVER been to a slaughter house. You can smell the death, the blood and guts, you can hear the screams of fear from the horses, you will NEVER be the same. The majority of the horses run through the slaughter houses are tainted meat because of the pharmaceuticals that they have been given with the exception of our Nation’s wild herds which are being sold out from under the tax payers noses. Do you want to feed that to your family or even your dogs and cats? Ask The EU how much they trust the meat tests for safety….How would you like to buy burger and have it be horse or donkey or mule added to your food source? I think everyone that is pro-slaughter ought to walk the walk if they talk the talk….bon appetite if you think it is so safe. Are you willing to back that up with your health or your children’s health?

    • Deedie says:

      Susan Humprey you have proven time and again that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Clearly we were correct when we told you that Americans don’t want horse slaughter. LISTEN.

    • susan carter says:

      The “new tests” the USDA has , Susan; test 3 out of every 100 horses. They test one pound of muscle , from the same horse, at two different labs. Isn’t that comforting? The EU has imposed strict standards on horsemeat. They do not want adulterated meat, as much as you want them to eat it. If 150,000 horse Breeders , such as yourself, chose to breed one less mare. There would be no problem of “unwanted” horses.

  6. mb says:

    I have eaten horse meat when in england it was 9 dollars a lb beef $23 a lb look at what meds cattle get. Worming pink
    Eye meds wart vacs growth inplants 7
    Way vacs pneumonia vacs. Just think that lean hamburger you eat is probley a cow that had brucelosis the meat is acid washed for us to eat!!l much rather eat my horse at least l know what l’m eating

  7. John Holland says:

    That certainly went well! What part of unamendable did he not understand. Moreover, even if it had been amendable the Senate was not about to shut down the government again over horse slaughter. It was all theater.

    As to the impact on horse welfare, we now have the statistics and they prove slaughter correlates positively with abuse and neglect.

  8. Claudia Daigle says:

    I would first like to put to rest one of the pro-slaughter mantras repeated in this article…..horse slaughter is not about killing only old and sick horses. Horse slaughter facilities do not want or accept these horses. The average age of a horse going to slaughter is 4 years old! This is a fact. This ‘industry’ is disreputable, at best, and is not welcome in the United States by over 80% of the American people. Americans also support a full federal ban and are very pleased the defunding language, that effectively bans horse slaughter in the US for one year, was passed and we thank everyone who made it happen. Americans now want Congress to co-sponsor and pass S.541 – The Safe Act, for a full federal ban on horse slaughter to stop this industry in its tracks and close our borders to horse slaughter. Canada will also be discussing a bill, C-322, to ban horse slaughter in Canada to close their borders as well to horse transport for slaughter. We support our Canadian neighbors in their efforts. The market for horse meat in Europe is waning in leaps and bounds with further tainted food discoveries.

    The news of the defunding language passage, to effectively ban horse slaughter, is also good for our wild horses and burros being held in long and short term holding facilities by our Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Oklahoma legislators passed legislation last year, against the wishes of the majority of the people of OK, to lift the ban on horse slaughter in their state. It is no coincidence that 13 of the private, cattlemen owned, long term holding facilities, holding our wild horses are all in Oklahoma. They were forced off of their legally designated land, using ‘discretionary authority’ only. There was absolutely no scientific or data related reason, as required in the 1971 Free-Roaming Wild Horse & Burro Act. Another eight LTH facilities are located in states surrounding Oklahoma. Our horses were not over-populating, they were not starving….they were just in the way of the livestock and fracking special interests who want our wild horses legally designated land, which has shrunk by 22 million acres since the Act. These special interests are fleecing the American people for hundreds of millions of dollars and their plan was to say to the American people that holding the wild horses is just not sustainable and it’s costing the taxpayers too much money, so, we should just send them all to slaughter! That was the plan. Now, they will want to euthanize them, which Congress must not allow! That is why Sen. Inhofe and Rep. Mullin have their shorts in a wad. They are about to get voted out of office by their constituents for passing pro horse slaughter legislation, and, their horse slaughtering profiteering plan has failed, thank God.

    What is needed is a full investigation of the BLM and our Wild Horse & Burro Program. Senator DeFazio has initiated an investigation into Wildlife Services, an office in the BLM, in which he has found much abuse. WS is connected to what is happening with the special interests in our BLM and our Wild Horses & Burros. I am calling on Congress to please investigate the BLM. BLM Director Joe Baca came very close to exposing the illegal actions of the special interests in 1997, and was forced to resign. It is a shameful travesty…. what is happening to our historical, majestic, and beloved wild horses and burros and our public lands. There are a total of 70,000 wild horses and burros – 50,000 are in holding facilities. They are being scapegoated as causing the degradation to our public lands when there are millions of cattle and millions of sheep grazing our public lands! In the 1960′s, there were 2 million wild free-roaming horses and burros and our public lands were in excellent condition…. full of wildlife and clean waters. In a recent BLM poll, Americans want just that……healthy public lands full of natural healthy wildlife, clean waters, with hiking and recreation activities. Livestock grazing/fracking were at the very end of the list.

    2014 is The Year of The Horse. Let’s make it a great year for our horses/burros by passing S.541, a federal ban on horse slaughter and closing our borders to the same. Let’s require Congress to investigate and clean up the BLM/DOI and develop a real plan to renew our public lands, clean up the water, renew the natural wildlife, and develop a sustainable Wild Horse & Burro Program, where our wild horses and burros are managed ‘exclusively’ on their legally designated land, without the authority of special interests, and based on the recent NAS (National Acedemy of Science) study that will PROTECT and manage the nation’s magnificent Wild Horses & Burros to inspire and enjoy for many generations to come.

    • Quester says:

      Excellent post Claudia, thank you. Thanks also for bringing up the issue of the BLM, it is definitely corrupted and needs cleaning up, and it is definitely time the private cattle ranchers stopped benefitting from Public lands at the expense of this Country’s iconic wild Mustang!

  9. Annie Griffith says:

    Conventional meat supply in jeopardy due to accommodate horse slaughter inspection. In order to accommodate a foreign horse meat market that is becoming increasingly unpopular in Europe due to the unsafe aspects of the corrupt and toxic horse meat industry, your congress member, Congressman Aderholt held a private conference with three other congress members, Pryor, Blunt and Farr to discuss whether or not to remove language from the Budget bill HR 2410 that forbids tax dollars being allocated to inspect horse meat. Twenty million plus dollars has been pulled from the conventional meat inspection program and we have all seen the deadly effects this has caused to our children and families. Please contact your congress member and remind him of the hundreds of meat recalls, the 1000′s of deaths and sickened citizens that have already resulted from these budget cutbacks to our conventional meat supply. USDA inspectors are at an all time low and our conventional meat supply drastically threatened.” Annie Griffith, “Meet America”

  10. Chan Sutton says:

    With the death of a great lady for the cause, Sue Wallis, we need him in the horse industry more than ever.

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