|Most Americans are strongly opposed to the slaughter of horses in the United States for foreign markets. The commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros had been banned for thirty-four years until last year when Congress passed the Burns Amendment (added to the Interior Appropriations Bill by Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, opening the door to the slaughter of thousands of wild horses. The Burns Amendment was strategically inserted at the last minute into a must-pass appropriations bill. Had it not been for the stealth placement of the Burns Amendment, it most certainly never would have passed.
In response to the Burns Amendment, Representatives Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) introduced the Rahall-Whitfield Amendment to the Interior Appropriations Bill, which passed the U.S. House in May of 2005, restoring the protections to wild horses and burros. Similar to the Rahall-Whitfield Amendment to the Interior Appropriations Bill is the Wild Horse Act (H.R. 297), also introduced by Representatives Rahall and Whitfield in January of 2005. The Senate version of the Wild Horse Act (S. 576) was introduced by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) on March 9, 2005 and is the last step necessary in reversing the damage down by the Burns amendment. Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives and urge them to support this bill.
The U.S. House passed an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Spending Bill (HR 2744), introduced by Representatives John Sweeney (R-NY), John Spratt (D-SC), Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY), on June 8, 2005. This amendment will eliminate the funding for inspections of horse slaughterhouses, virtually abolishing the cruel practice of horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States for one year. To see how your representative voted, CLICK HERE. The U.S. Senate passed the companion Amendment (S. Amdt. 1753/ the Ensign-Byrd Amendment) to the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Spending Bill on 9/20/05. Fortunately, both Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Mel Martinez voted in favor of this amendment.
Pending in the U.S. House is an amendment to the Horse Protection Act (H.R. 503), introduced by Representatives Sweeney, Spratt and Whitfield, which prohibits the transport, possession, purchase or sale of horses to be slaughtered for human consumption and will reinstate protections for wild horses. On October 24, 2005, U.S. Senator John Ensign introduced a companion bill, the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 1915). Please ask your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator to co-sponsor and support this significant legislation to protect America’s horses. For more information on horse slaughter, CLICK HERE.