Uphill road ahead for slaughter ban; your help needed to build momentum

Photo taken at RTF’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary by Norma Fries

The Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, which would permanently ban horse slaughter in the United States as well as the export of American horses for slaughter, has amassed 222 bipartisan House cosponsors, a majority.

That’s the good news: The number of backers sends a great message of support for a slaughter ban.

Here’s the bad: Only 389 bills out of 14,460 bills introduced have been brought up for a vote during this Congress, which has been historically unproductive due to political gridlock, party infighting and a looming national election.

Only 178 pieces of legislation — the least in decades — have been passed and signed into law.

Return to Freedom will never give up, though. We have always looked for every opportunity to pass a horse slaughter ban.

Bills that are must-pass, like those funding the government, provide another possible vehicle for getting a ban passed.

For example, we lobby to ensure language is included in annual federal funding bills that bars the U.S. Department of Agriculture from using tax dollars to hire horsemeat inspectors. That language kept horse slaughter plants from operating inside the United States since 2007, and we are pushing for it to be made permanent.

Doing so has not closed the foreign slaughter pipeline, however. Last year, 20,282 American horses were shipped to Mexico or Canada for slaughter, a 1.97% increase.

We are also working to have the SAFE Act language banning horse slaughter and export for slaughter included in the trillion-dollar FARM Bill, which is typically renewed every five years. The deadline for the bill has been extended until September 2024.

It’s critically important that horse slaughter opponents continue contacting their representatives.

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