Animal funds

Horse Industry and Animal Groups Push to End Culling

Today, a diverse group of equine industry and animal welfare organizations announced the Final Stretch Alliance to End Horse Slaughter, a collaborative effort to permanently ban the slaughter of American horses. In an open letter to congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer , DN.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the alliance urged federal lawmakers to pass the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act (HR3355/S.2732) to ban halt the slaughter of horses in the United States and end the export of American horses for slaughter in other countries.

Supporting members of the Final Stretch Alliance to End Horse Slaughter coalition include: The Jockey Club, US Trotting Association, Stronach Group, Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, Jockey’s Guild, New York Racing Association, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Maryland Horse Council, ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Animal Welfare Institute, Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation and many other industry voices.

Despite congressional efforts that have effectively blocked the operation of horse slaughterhouses on American soil since 2007, tens of thousands of American horses continue to be shipped to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses that supply other countries with horsemeat. With the Triple Crown horse racing season underway and the public focus on equestrian sports, the equine industry and welfare groups are calling on federal lawmakers to act at this critical time by passing the SAFE Act to end to this sad chapter in American history.

In the open letter, the groups point to a recent poll indicating that an overwhelming majority of Americans (83%) oppose the slaughter of horses. The letter explains how, despite strong and innovative partnerships between the equine industry and welfare groups to help horses transition between careers, the looming threat of the horse slaughter pipeline continues to significantly harm the industry, enthusiasts and adoption organisations:

“Racing industry groups have shown real leadership by committing resources to career tracking and transition programs, instituting and enforcing anti-sale-to-kill track policies, and leading state and federal policies prohibiting the slaughter of horses.These programs are essential, but until the law shuts down the slaughter pipeline itself, no horse, no matter how loved or decorated, won’t really be safe.”

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The SAFE Act would close this legal loophole to stop the movement of American horses to slaughter for human consumption overseas. Introduced by a bipartisan group of federal legislators, the SAFE Act is currently sponsored by nearly half of the US House of Representatives.

Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States: “We are thrilled that so many horse racing leaders and organizations are joining us in ending the slaughter of American horses by urging Congress to adopt the SAFE law. “We have never been closer to our goal of ending this repugnant industry. These influential voices in the horse racing industry, joined with ours, will have a major impact. “When we get to this bill, the better. No person in good conscience can support the slaughter of horses.”

Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund: “Just 10 years ago, 166,000 American horses were exported overseas to be slaughtered for human consumption. As a direct result of our collective efforts, those numbers have dropped to 23,431 in 2021, but one horse lost in the slaughter pipeline is still too many. Horse slaughter is a predatory industry that benefits horse owners and enthusiasts, and brings nothing but misery and suffering to horses. Public disapproval of its cruelties has never been higher, and we are thrilled to join our partners in the racing industry in calling on Congress to take decisive action to end it for still.”

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