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Politics

Vern Buchanan Continues the Fight to End Slaughtering Horses for Human Consumption

February 2, 2019 - 7:30am
Vern Buchanan
Vern Buchanan

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., is continuing his fight to end slaughtering horses for human consumption in the U.S. and stop exporting horses to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.

This week, Buchanan brought back his "Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act" which he introduced in August 2017 and garnered 150 co-sponsors in the U.S. House. While the bill was not able to get over the finish line last time out, he did bring out an amendment to a government funding bill on the matter. 

Buchanan’s amendment on horse slaughtering prevented the “reopening of horse slaughter facilities in the United States by prohibiting federal funding for health and safety inspections which is required by law at all meat processing plants.”The federal ban on horse slaughter was set to expire early in 2018 but Buchanan was able to bring the language of his amendment into the federal omnibus spending bill that President Donald Trump signed into law in March.  

This week, Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., reintroduced the “SAFE Act.”

“Horses have a special place in our nation’s history, and these majestic creatures were not raised as food for humans,” Schakowsky said on Wednesday. “The SAFE Act would prohibit any horse slaughter plant from opening; and also end the sale or transport of horses and horse parts in the U.S. and abroad for the purpose of human consumption. I am proud to reintroduce this bill and work with Congressman Buchanan to put an end to this practice.”

“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that has no place in America,” Buchanan said. “I will continue to lead the effort with Congresswoman Schakowsky to ban domestic horse slaughter and end the export of horses abroad for slaughter.”

A host of animal rights groups including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Legislative Fund and Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation endorsed the proposal. 

"The horse slaughter industry delivers a series of traumatic events and ends with open-eyed terror for animals that deserve much better from us," said Holly Gann, the director of federal affairs for  Animal Wellness Action. "Toxic horse meat is anything but a legitimate American agriculture export. Congress should move quickly to protect our horses.”

Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, will champion a companion bill. 

In recent years, Buchanan, who has been honored by the Humane Society, has focused on animal welfare issues. In 2016,  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. Back in 2018, Buchanan protested the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to downgrade manatees from “endangered” to “threatened.” In 2017,  Buchanan teamed up with U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., on bringing out  the “Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act," a proposal banning the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption which President Donald Trump signed into law. Buchanan has also been critical of the Trump administration’s efforts to end bans on bringing lion and elephant trophies into the United States. 

Last month, Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., brought out  the "Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act,”  a proposal cracking down on animal cruelty and torture. 

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 election cycles but he’s opted to continue in the House. 

Comments

You are my heroes! I wanted to thank Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Shackowsky for all hard work they both have invested in the future of our world and the animals who have rights as well! You have given them a voice and I can sleep a little better at night knowing that two men who have hearts are fighting for all animals and especially the horses who helped all of us become the nation we are now. Without them we would have nothing. They have allowed us lead them into war zones, have given their lives, let us strap heavy harnesses and plowed our fields and pulled our ancestors wagons across the nation in its infancy. Now it is our turn to give these beautiful and intelligent animals that have cognitive minds and gentle hearts the love and respect they deserve. You have my deepest admiration. Thanks so much. A. Bryson

You are my heroes! I wanted to thank Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Shackowsky for all hard work they both have invested in the future of our world and the animals who have rights as well! You have given them a voice and I can sleep a little better at night knowing that two men who have hearts are fighting for all animals and especially the horses who helped all of us become the nation we are now. Without them we would have nothing. They have allowed us lead them into war zones, have given their lives, let us strap heavy harnesses and plowed our fields and pulled our ancestors wagons across the nation in its infancy. Now it is our turn to give these beautiful and intelligent animals that have cognitive minds and gentle hearts the love and respect they deserve. You have my deepest admiration. Thanks so much. A. Bryson

Thank you Thank you .....I salute you Rep. Buchanan......I would vote for you but not from florida...

Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of all American horses. Wild horses on federal lands are being sent to slaughter because cattle ranchers keep expanding their business on public land. Kill buyers and kill pens have developed a whole new business of outbidding horseman and families at auctions because they know they can “bail” this horse with emotional extortion via their “rescue” programs and then use the funds to purchase yet more horses that do ship. Horses are being bred to ship and fly under inhumane conditions because there is profit. Horses are sentient creatures who do not deserve this horror. We must stand up and be their voice.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Thank you very much. As a horse owner and a person who has battled cancer this bill THE “SAFE Act.” is excellent. We need to get it done. Not just for the food safety issue but also for all of our equines. Being a horse owner and reading the labels of every product allowed and sold for use on or in a horse, having it say "NOT FOR USE IN ANIMALS INTENDED FOR FOOD" knowing the USA does not raise equines as a food source, knowing we Americans do not eat horse we should not be allowing them to be sold for slaughter to other countries. Products from deworming right down to the hove care products all say those words "Not for use in animals intending for human consumption". We are obligated to end this practice and educate the public of the drugs in our equines. We are obligated to end American horses from being slaughtered.

Thank you. As a veterinarian I know how inhumane horse slaughter is and how toxic the drugs used for horse care and maintenance are to humans. This bill must pass and put an end to horse slaughter and transport to slaughter across our southern and northern borders.

Thank you for this comment. We need more veterinarians to speak up against the inhumanity of horse slaughter. Are you in Florida ?

Thank you rep. Buchanan, we appreciate you fighting for the SAFE act.

Bravo and thank you for your courage to fight the good fight! We need more Representatives like you!!!

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr113/details #Yes2SAFE #BanHorseSlaughter #NoToxicHorseMeat #FoodSafety WE AMERICANS DO NOT EXPORT OUR HORSES FOR SLAUGHTER OR OVERSEAS FOR MEAT CONSUMPTION!! SECONDLY, I think the public AND Congressman and Senators need to SEE the way horses are killed, in cattle-designed kill stalls, that do NOT correctly fit a horse's long neck and often cause slow death and trauma before the horse dies. INHUMANE BY ALL STANDARDS! It seems to be very easy to dismiss a very intelligent mammal like horses when many have no idea how cruel the entire process is., from roundup to transport to death camps, waiting in a line and the smell of FEAR and death surrounds them. Horses are NOT to be eaten, they are poisonous for human or animal c consumption, with all the vaccines, or birth control in their system. No, horse meat dog food was banned in the 1970's. This was because dogs were DYING from the toxins in the horse meat. So, how can any other country LEGALLY sell Horse meat!!! HORSES ARE AMERICA'S HERITAGE! Before rail and automobiles, HORSES built this country. Delivered U.S. Mail by Pony Express, partnered with farmers for tilling the land, clearing lumber, rounding up cattle and so much more. Horses carried OUR SOLDIERS, pulled stage coaches, wagons, surreys, fire trucks, milk wagons, etc., etc... THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS (85%) ARE AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER In any and all forms.

We need to stop all activities related to horse slaughter with NO LOOPHOLES. Thanks

Is this what we're supposed to be upset by this week?If you weren't upset,offended,or outrages by horses being slaughtered a week ago I don't want to hear it.I'm outraged that the Congress hasn't passed a budget,I'm upset that our southern border is wide open,and I'm offended that the same Congress that won't pass a budget or secure our border is ready to pass a slew of unconstitutional gun control laws.Get your act together,Congress!

Rep. Vern Buchanan is a true champion for animals, and there are tons of people in his district who support these important measures. Floridians are very fortunate to have him representing them in our Nation's Capital.

Put a wall around his district, it might be contageous.

Thank you so much for standing up for this wonderful animal who has given so much!! This is the ultimate betrayal and is such an atrocity. Horses deserve better!!

There should be no slaughter it transporting horses across borders to be butchered. This includes live exports to Japan and elsewhere. The meat is not for human consumption. I will watch to see who votes for the SAFE Act. The 2020 election will be the outcome on their vote for my vote.

Lynn, your knowledge about horse slaughter and how prevalent the consumption of horse meat is beyond belief. You need to research how common this is and the torture these horses go through before they get to the slaughter houses . Here in Florida alone horses are killed by monsters in pastures and cut up and the owners discover the remains when morning comes. Do you read the newspaper at all?

What about dog food? I assume it is still ok to slaughter some horses to include in dog food?? However, I'm astounded that time is being spent on animal rights when we have National Security crisis at our border that needs immediate attention that does involve House votes to handle. Never ceases to amaze me how our elected officials can find ways to change priorities when it suits them so they never have to take responsibility for controversial decisions. Really? You are spending time renewing a bill that of course needs renewing but is another "DUH" decision. We humans do not eat horses unless we are dying of starvation at Donner Summit.

No, horse meat dog food was banned in the 1970's. This was because dogs were dying from the toxins in the horse meat.

Now, if Buchanan would only stop "useless Congressional media-blurb acronyms" intended for human consumption..! Let's put a STOP to Congressional Assuredly Stupid Simply Worrisome Horrid Offal Liberal Earfuls (ASSWHOLES) from "empty-suit" Congress people in the D.C. Swamp !

Off your meds?

Nope, smokin it ! (Is that legal yet ?)

The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act in the 115th congressional session was introduced by Vern on January 3, 2017. It was not introduced in August 2017 as this article states. It had 218 cosponsors, garnering a majority for of support in the House for the very first time. We dont eat our horses. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr113/details #Yes2SAFE #BanHorseSlaughter #NoToxicHorseMeat #FoodSafety

The bill H.R.113 - Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2017-2018 had a total of 218 cosponsors. This bill would prohibit the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption, as well as the export of live horses for the same purpose to Mexico and Canada. The new bill is H.R.875 - To prevent human health threats posed by the consumption of equines raised in the United States. #foodsafety #BanHorseSlaughter #Yes2Safe

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