Equine Industry and Animal Welfare Orgs Team Up to Ban Horse Slaughter in The United States

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The vast majority of Americans vehemently oppose the cruel practice of horse slaughter. However, it is disheartening to note that thousands of American horses are still being transported to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico each year, solely to cater to the demand for horse meat in other countries. While some states, including the recent addition of New York, have taken steps to ban the transportation and slaughter of horses, and equine adoption has gained popularity as a means to rescue these magnificent creatures from their grim fate, these measures alone are insufficient. True safety for every horse, regardless of their significance or value, can only be achieved through the enactment of a federal law that effectively shuts down the country's slaughter pipeline.


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Fortunately, Congress possesses the authority to pass the Save America's Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act (U.S. H.R. 3475/S. 2037) in 2024, thereby safeguarding our equine athletes, work partners, and cherished companions. The SAFE Act is a crucial federal bill that seeks to permanently prohibit horse slaughter within the United States and put an end to the exportation of American horses for slaughter in foreign lands.


On December 19, a diverse coalition of equine industry and animal welfare organizations, known as the "Final Stretch Alliance to End Horse Slaughter," united to send an open letter [PDF] to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, urging them to incorporate the SAFE Act into the Farm Bill. This alliance comprises esteemed members such as The Jockey Club, the U.S. Trotting Association, the Stronach Group, the Breeders' Cup, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the Jockey's Guild, the New York Racing Association, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Animal Welfare Institute, the Humane Society of the United States, and numerous others.


The open letter serves as a compelling plea, shedding light on the persistent threat posed by the horse slaughter pipeline. Despite the commendable efforts of the equine industry and welfare groups to forge robust and innovative partnerships, aimed at supporting horses transitioning between careers, the detrimental impact of this looming threat cannot be overstated. It casts a dark shadow over the industry, its passionate enthusiasts, and the dedicated adoption organizations.


The Final Stretch Alliance firmly believes that the inclusion of the SAFE Act in the Farm Bill is an imperative step towards safeguarding the welfare of these magnificent creatures. By banning the inhumane practice of horse slaughter, we can protect the integrity of the equine industry, preserve the well-being of these majestic animals, and foster a more compassionate society.


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