New legislation being explored by lawmakers would ban slaughterhouses in the U. S., as well as prevent horses from being exported to Mexico and Canada for human consumption.
According to The Hill, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S. C.), Robert Menendez (D-N. J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R. I.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are heading the effort to federally ban the slaughter of horses for food through the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, introduced Thursday, August 3.
“The gruesome practice of slaughtering horses for food has no place in the United States, and it's well past time for Congress to say once and for all that horse meat is not what's for dinner,” Menendez told The Hill.
“Horses are routinely treated with drugs that are not fit for human consumption and do not belong in our nation's food supply. Our bipartisan legislation will help put an end to the cruel and inhumane slaughter of horses while protecting families from toxic horse meat and safeguarding the reputation of the U.S. food industry worldwide,” he added.
Proponents of the bill include animal rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
Last month a House Appropriations Committee approved a bill which would lift the ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the U. S. by allowing USDA inspectors to oversee the process. There are currently no horse processing facilities in the United States.
The SAFE Act would also amend the Food and Drug Act to classify horses as an unsafe food additive for humans due to the common drugs and medications used to treat physical ailments in equines. Common medications such as phenylbutazone (bute) and flunixin megulmine (Banamine) are common medications used to treat pain or inflammation in horses, but are not approved for human consumption.
Each year more than 100,000 horses are sent outside of the U. S. for slaughter, many of which go to facilities in Canada and Mexico.
Read more at The Hill.
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