A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Nov 28, 2011

Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption in the U.S.

UPDATE: President Obama signed budget measure that prohibits using federal inspection funds for the horse slaughtering process.

UPDATE: Opening of slaughter plants in New Mexico and Iowa temporarily stopped by judge to consider the need for environmental studies. Also, the New Mexico Environmental Department declined a request to renew Valley Meat Co.'s (slaughterhouse) waste-water discharge permit.  Robert Redford and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson forming foundation to stop the return to domestic horse slaughter.

UPDATE: Horse slaughter plant to open soon in New Mexico , slaughter ban lifted in Oklahoma after 50 years, and USDA predicts more to follow ...

Horse slaughter plants are legal again in the United States. Restrictions on horse meat processing for human consumption have been lifted.  courtesy of Google Images

In a bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives and the United States Senate approved the Conference Committee report on spending bill H.R. 2112, which among other things, funds the United States Department of Agriculture.  On November 18th, as the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, President Obama signed a law, allowing Americans to kill and eat horses. Essentially, one turkey was pardoned in the presence of worldwide media while in the shadows, buried under pages of fiscal regulation, millions of horses were sentenced to death.

Horse slaughter has been prohibited in the United States as funding for inspections of horses in transit and at slaughter houses was non-existent. This worked because the horse meat cannot be sold for human consumption without such inspections. The House version of the bill retained the de-funding language and the Senate version did not. The conference committee charged with reconciling the two opted to not include it. The result is that it is now legal to slaughter horses for humans to eat.

Notwithstanding that 70% of Americans oppose horse slaughter, that President Obama made a campaign promise to permanently ban horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption (horses can be sent to Mexico and Canada), that documentation of animal cruelty, slaughterhouse stench, fluid runoff and negative community impact exists, it is taxpayers that will bear the costs!

Wyoming state representative Sue Wallis and her pro-slaughter group estimate that between 120,000 and 200,000 horses will be killed for human consumption per year and that Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Georgia and Missouri, are considering opening slaughter plants.

During these trying times, is the only thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that Americans need to eat horses?

Article first published as Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption on Technorati.


  1. Appalling and cruel. Can we get this overturned somehow?

  2. Hopefully passing the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 2966) to permanently prohibit the slaughter of American horses

  3. Madeline, I may be reading this wrong, but the bill as it appears here:


    Say specifically in section 739 that no funds shall be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel to inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act.

    Am I missing something?

  4. The reconciled, enrolled and signed version of the law removed the de-funding section.

  5. Madeline,

    Where do the horses come from that are to be slaughtered and sold for "human consumption"? I'd like to post about this on my own blog (I have a fairly decent readership and I'm pretty sure my readers will be every bit as appalled as I am!) but I'd like to get as much information as possible before posting.

    Also, you mention, in reply to Brandy, that the reconciled, enrolled, and signed version of the bill (that was passed into law) removed the de-funding. Can I get confirmation of that somehow? I know my readers are sticklers for things like that, as I am, and I'd like to know where to point them to for information.

    This makes me ill. I've never been a huge fan of Obama's politics, but now I'm really questioning his personal ethics as he has once again, gone back on a promise he made! Absolutely makes me sick!

  6. how can we protest this?!

  7. Horrible. Who can we write to and what can we do about this?

  8. the best way to protest this is to contact your representatives and apply pressure. There are also various petitions circulating - Look at Animal Law Coalition for that.

    We must try to secure passage of the American Horse Slaughter Act of 2011

    Horses come from everywhere, people who no longer want them, race tracks, wild horses and so on and so forth.

    The bill:http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c112:7:./temp/~c1126ratdm:: When you look at the enrolled and signed version you will see that the de-funding language in prior versions has been removed.

  9. Absolutely inhumane!!! Horses that are "domestic" animals or pets rely on us to protect them and take care of them just as a dog or cat would. This isn't something we would do to our other pets, why would we do this to horses? Sure we put a pet to "sleep" when it's very ill but these horses are not ill, they're just victim of another human initiated murder. We DON'T need horse meat to survive!! We don't have an overpopulation of horses. There is NO reason we need to slaughter horses. Just my 2 cents.

  10. If every one is up in arms about selling horse for meat, why have they been exporting them to Mexico and Canada to be killed for meat. last year and be for and ever since we stopped. Nothing changed just the location, out side the US.
    look at the numbers being exported for slaughter there.
    the numbers are high

  11. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011(H.R. 2966) will permanently prohibit the slaughter of American horses and prohibit exports as well.