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Menendez, Graham lead colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation to ban horse slaughter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Friday introduced the bipartisan Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, legislation that would permanently ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

The bill would also prohibit the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses to be sold overseas. Companion legislation was introduced last month in the House of Representatives by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.-09) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.-16).

“The gruesome practice of horse slaughter for food consumption has no place in the United States. It is well past time for Congress to act decisively in putting an end to this cruelty,” said Sen. Menendez, a regular recipient of the annual Humane Society’s Humane Champion award. “Horses are routinely treated with drugs that are dangerous for human consumption and should not be a part of our nation’s food supply or export of goods. 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.”

Although the practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption is currently illegal in the United States, the ban is temporary and subject to annual congressional review and no federal law exists to prohibit the transport of horses across America’s borders for slaughter in Canada or Mexico. The lawmakers hope to include the SAFE Act as part of the 2023 Farm Bill when it is considered by Congress later this year.

In 2022, approximately 20,000 American horses were exported to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses, according to the Animal Welfare Institute. Those horses are butchered and then transported overseas for consumption in Japan, Italy and other countries.

Joining Sens. Menendez and Graham in cosponsoring the legislation are Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and John Fetterman (D-Pa.).

“The practice of slaughtering horses to meet foreign demand simply does not reflect the admiration we as a nation have for these animals,” Collins said. “This bipartisan legislation would prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption, which is the same prohibition we enacted for dogs and cats during the consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill.”

“I have long opposed the cruel and inhumane slaughter of horses for human consumption. I am proud to co-sponsor the SAFE Act, which would permanently ban this practice and protect our horses from this horrific fate,” Rubio said.

“Horse slaughter is a cruel and inhumane practice that must finally be put to an end,” Booker said. “That is why I am joining my colleagues in introducing this bill that will permanently end the practice of slaughtering horses in the United States and will stop the shipment of thousands of American horses to slaughter across our borders.”

“Any mistreatment of horses is simply unacceptable. I am joining this bipartisan bill to protect our animals, our farmers, and consumers everywhere,” Fetterman said.

“Horses simply should never be slaughtered for humans to eat. These cherished, iconic animals should be protected, not butchered and shipped abroad for profit,” Blumenthal said. “Our measure ends this despicable practice and prioritizes the welfare and safety of these animals. We can and must protect our nation’s horses.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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