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Federal legislation introduced to prohibit slaughter of American horses, end export of horses

WASHINGTON (August 3, 2017)—Federal lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of inhumane horse slaughter operations within the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.

Senators Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, S. 1706. The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Legislative Fund strongly support the legislation, and the House companion bill, H.R. 113, already has 150 or so co-sponsors.

"Americans don’t round up dogs and cats for slaughter and ship the parts of the animals to foreign countries. We shouldn’t do that with horses either," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS and executive vice president of HSLF. "We commend Senators Menendez, Graham, Whitehouse and Collins for introducing this critical legislation to end horse slaughter once and for all."

Each year, kill buyers gather up and send over 100,000 American horses to slaughter for foreign consumers. Horse slaughter is inherently inhumane, forcing horses to endure long journeys to slaughter plants without adequate food, water or rest. Due to the biology and nature of horses, these animals often sustain repeated blows or remain conscious during the kill process. In addition, the horse slaughter industry is a predatory enterprise. Buyers don’t “euthanize” old horses—they buy up young, healthy horses, often by misrepresenting their intentions, and inhumanely kill them to sell the meat to Europe and Japan.

The SAFE Act will prevent horse slaughter plants from opening in the U.S., and it would prevent the shipment of live horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter for human consumption.

Media contact:

Thaisi Da Silva: 202-578-6767,


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at Subscribe to the blog, A Humane Nation. Join The HSUS on Facebook. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.