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Vern Buchanan's Effort to Ban Slaughtering Horses for Human Consumption Gains Traction on Capitol Hill

August 11, 2017 - 6:00am
Vern Buchanan
Vern Buchanan

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s, R-Fla., efforts to ban slaughtering horses for humans consumption continue to gain steam on Capitol Hill. 

On Thursday, Buchanan announced his "Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act" had garnered 150 co-sponsors in the U.S. House. The proposal, which would end slaughtering horses for human consumption in the U.S. and stop exporting horses to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, also has a companion measure in the U.S. Senate. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lindsey Graham, R-SC, Bob Menendez, D-NJ, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, introduced the Senate companion earlier this month. 

“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that must end,” Buchanan said on Thursday. “We need to build on this momentum and get this bill signed into law.”
The Manatee County Republican noted that killing horses for human consumption was currently banned by federal law but Buchanan pointed out that the law was temporary and his bill would make that ban permanent. Buchanan’s proposal has won the support the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

The bill is currently before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health and the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s  Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.  Ten members of the Florida delegation--Republican U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Dennis Ross and Democrats U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel. Alcee Hastings, Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto and Debbie Wasserman Schultz--are co-sponsoring the bill. 

Buchanan, who has been honored by the Humane Society, has focused on animal welfare issues in recent years. Back in October, he  teamed up with U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM,  to urge the Interior Department to end plans to exterminate or sell more than 45,000 wild horses. 

The Bradenton congressman has also been active in trying to keep manatees covered under the Endangered Species Act. Earlier this year, Buchanan protested the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to downgrade manatees from “endangered” to “threatened.” Earlier this year, Buchanan teamed up with Hastings on bringing out  the “Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act," a proposal banning the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption. 

First elected to the U.S. House in 2006, Buchanan serves on both the Budget and the Ways and Means Committees. Buchanan’s name has garnered buzz as a possible U.S. Senate candidate in recent cycles but he’s opted to continue in the House. 



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Well said. No need for slaughter!! To the person who thinks there isn't enough grazing, well think again. There is about 250 million acres out there that the horses are suppose to be grazing on, but the BLM has cut most of that off from the horses and given it to the ranchers. The land is for the horses and nothing else!!! The BLM was charged with care of the horses which they are NOT doing. The land is also wanted for mining and oil. So they tell everyone there are too many horses and they wind up going to slaughter and it's past time that it stops. It is beyond cruel and inhumane and the horses should be running free on their own land!!!!

Thank you so much Senator Buchanan for your stance on equine slaughter. I pray you can sway more Senators to see your point and ours. A large majority of voters do not want to see horses slaughtered here in the U.S. or anywhere else. The cruelty involved is staggering. The number of horse thefts is horrible. Many of your constituents have ideas on how to curb the excess horse population. Just ask.

Ban horse slaughter in the United States nd transporting horses to itger countries for horse slaughter for . Past time to have this legislation!.

Ban horse slaughter in the United States nd transporting horses to itger countries for horse slaughter for . Past time to have this legislation!.

Horses are not raised as meat animals. .most people are not aware of the regulations that are in effect regarding cattle, hogs, sheep, as is evident by some of the comments aboveboard, suggesting that they be fed to the poor or children. Equine drugs are labeled by FDA as NOT for use in meat animals. That is a fact. A fact that Ted Oho is well aware aware of. It is morally rehensible that as a Veterinarian he has not signed on to the S.A.F.E Act. Safe Guard American Food Exports. He should turn in his Veterinary license. Thank You Vern Buchanan, for having moral tupitude.

I completely agree! This has gone on long enough and has to end for good.

To the point and truthful so we need more people who will stand up for stopping horse slaughtering!! People who abuse horses don't deserve to be in this country!! Horses helped build our beautiful country and they still have so many admirers!! Save these beautiful animals from those who want to profit from their cruel horrible death!!!

To the point and truthful so we need more people who will stand up for stopping horse slaughtering!! People who abuse horses don't deserve to be in this country!! Horses helped build our beautiful country and they still have so many admirers!! Save these beautiful animals from those who want to profit from their cruel horrible death!!!

How about you pettifoggers get to work on something important ! ! ! (Lunch at 12:00 in the Congressional Cafeteria...MENU: Equus caballus burgers, topped with crispy Sus scrofa accompanied by 5 cent Congressional bean soup. CHOW DOWN PORKY PETTIFOGGERS!!!)

D'you realize just how stupid you sound don't you?

ALL of this (and YOUR) nonsense was originally purposed (decades ago) to save our "Wild Western Mustangs"...BUT to NO AVAIL!!! The "politicians" that you "horse lovers" laud today are, in fact, the 'political spawn' of pettifoggers "back in the day" who shipped those "free ranging Mustangs" to foreign 'dinner tables' with no remorse whatsoever ! Stop imagining that these political miscreants are preventing "bad guys" from taking YOUR horse from your backyard stall and selling it for food;.... The "politicians" ARE the "bad guys", ( and they DON"T eat horses: they just "eat YOUR lunch"!) but they will continue to lock-down and control most America's Western Range and decimate any "life' (wild or otherwise) that gets in their way! "Stupid"?...NO...I just don't "get off" mucking stalls and currying a pet horse whose never seen a "roundup" or a "dressage ring"...

Well said, I can't believe that anyone would be behind such an inhumane act. One look at a Mustangs on the wild range and they hear a dinner bell not for themselves because as you said they dine on the finer things at our expense. These politicians have too much time on their hands.

I totally applaud this bill . It's about time to cut out the irresponsible option of slaughter for negligent, lazy and otherwise uncaring owners. This will also force breeders to be more selective and to abandon lottery type breeding procedures, particularly among the AQHA, who aided by AI, top the stats year after decade as the highest percentage of horse breed to slaughter. (AQHA usually listed as 'stock type' horses account for 75-80% annually on kill buyers shipping reports) . Without the relief valve of slaughter as an option, these breeders will now need to re-consider their actions. I have had several breeders inform me that horse slaughter is just another part of their business plan. It shouldn't be. It's a horrible process for the horses. The cruelty begins in the horror of the auction ring, a terrible place, and continues all along at all points of their journey. We can certainly do better by the 1% of the total horse population that find themselves in this absolutely horrifiying situation. BAN HORSE SLAUGHTER NOW!

Horses going to slaughter are way down; about half what they were before the recession. Many over breeders are out of business. It is time to breed quality horses as they are a luxury item and those with money will buy those horses. I can no longer afford a horse so I know how expensive it can be. And with 80% of Americans against horse slaughter and a very small market for their meat it does not make good business sense to open a horse slaughter house. And as above our American horse meat even wild horses, get toxic drugs and consumers should be told. And despite what Canada is trying to do with 6 month quarantines many drugs are carcinogens and never leave the horses meat. People need to check out Animal Angels reports to see what is happening in slaughter houses. Horse slaughter houses can never be humane and calling a vet and a renderer are the kindest thing you can do for a horses that can't be used. There are many rescues and more opening so there are choices. Choosing slaughter is a move of greed not caring for your horse. Kill buyers are only in it for easy money.

Everything you have written here is truth. THANK YOU! BAN HORSE SLAUGHTER NOW.

Kudos to Representative Buchanan for pushing to protect our food supply from toxic horse meat unfit for consumption, and our horses from the horrendous torture of slaughter.

Check out Buchanan in the book "EXTORTION" by Peter Scweitzer: "Old Vern" was voted "one of the ten most corrupt politicians of 2012, by "Judicial Watch". "Vern also voted to FUND Obama's "Illegal Amnesty". [TWELVE YEARS as Bradenton/Sarasota's Congressional Representative is FAR, FAR TOO LONG ! (What the hell is wrong with you voters ?!?)

When is he up for re-election? Could it be he's trying to get some pluses in his corner?

EVERY TWO YEARS ! (Skipped "Civics" for "cake decorating" or "dressage", eh..."RGB"?)

When is he up for re-election? Could it be he's trying to get some pluses in his corner?

He isn't in my Congressional district but regardless his reason, if successful, he'll be instrumental in not only saving the lives of America's horses but also keeping scientifically proven meant off the dinner plates of foreign diners.

Per Randy Janssen : You have a fundamental lack of knowedge on the issue. Overbreeding feeds a need for slaughter, not quality horses. If you aren't capable of breeding a horse that 1. is quality 2. you have a need for then you ought not breed it. Horses are never 'nags'. That is a subjective and rather disrespectful viewpoint. Our horses are NOT food animals. This constitutes heinous bioterrorism : what gives someone who can afford to own, keep, board, train, show a horse the RIGHT to 'dispose' of and send tainted meat into the global food supply ? Nearly EVERY medicine we use on horses is labeled "NOT FOR USE IN FOOD ANIMALS". Read the labels folks. horses are not and never will be food. They are atheletes. Would you be interested in eating an NFL football player ? No, didn't think so. Veterinarian Congressman Ted Yoho quoted " I wouldn't want to eat anything I treated ". But - apparently some in Congress think it's okay to send this meat into our food supply ? Wow. Let's invite Monsanto and Bayer to 'dispose' of 'roundup' in the water supply ?

I would never send a horse to slaughter, but I don't think I have the right to tell other people what to do. If these groups want to make slaughter illegal, they need to put their money where their mouth is. It cost a minimum of $2000.00 per year to take care of a horse. So for 150,000 horses you are looking at over $300,000,000.00. This will double the next year and that $600,000,000.00 will double every year for each year the ban on slaughter is in effect. Some people will say, reduce the number of horses by not breading. This will reduce the quality of the remaining horses. Not every horse has value. A lot of them are just plain nags. They have bad legs, knees, hearts, some are blind and incomplete brains. If you stop breading, horses with defects will become dominate. For every good horse there are two or three bad ones. These problems are just not evident to the uninitiated. So what do you do with the bad horses. You can euthanize them and bury the bodies. This seems wasteful and not good for the environment. In a world of starving people, it seems more humane to use the meat to help feed children who are starving. Even the American Veterinary Medical Association believes the horse slaughter houses it has inspected, kill the horses in a humane manner. This includes the modern facilities in Mexico. If this bill passes, more horses will be abandoned and left to starve or die of dehydration. Just look at the mess the BLM has. Too many horses and not enough grass and water. It seems more humane to slaughter these animals, because starvation is a slow and hard way to die. Please read this: Also read this:

To randy janson: the horses have more right to live than people you do, IMHO. I think people like you that think you are so much more important than other living beings ought to be able to know the pain and terror and suffering you so easily would inflict upon the animals on this planet.

Who the hell are you? There are people who euthanize horses for a fee and take them away. You own a horse, you should be responsible for them! It's bad for the ground if you bury them? Maybe, but hey, let's send them to slaughter and go feed them to starving people and give them incurable diseases! It will cost who more to ban slaughter? You must be a kill buyer! And the BLM? Too many horses that they are supposed to be protecting from the greedy ranchers stealing the horses protected land? And by the way, breeding is the word, not breading! Yes, there should be bans on breeding or regulation on breeding. I have a question, if you ban breeding, how do the not-so-perfect horse become stronger or continued? That is impossible if there is a ban on breeding! There will be no reproduction of such!

Randy, a responsible owner can afford responsible disposal. A bullet after all is 30 cents. Our horses receive NON FDA medications daily. Our horses are investments, atheletes, sport performers extraordinaire. It is UNCONSCIONABLE to send them into the GLOBAL FOOD SUPPLY, where their meat is popping up in all sorts of ground meat products. Causing illness such as cancer, aplastic anemia. Phenylbutazone a ubiquitous NSAID is highly toxic to many humans. ?? IF YOU CAN AFFORD a luxury item (DEFINED as such by our GAO) such as a horse... you CAN afford to responsibly take care of it at end of life or usefulness. Death with dignity not suffering , panic and terror. There will ALWAYS be people who neglect and abuse their animals.... the fact that less than 1% of our horses are slaughtered has NO RELATIONSHIP with abuse and neglect. Never has, never will. Proven by countless studies.

Excellent comment, factual and to the point. THANK YOU!

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