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Omnibus Bill Bars U.S.-based Horse Slaughter, Omits Language to Remove Federal Protections for Wolves and Elephants

(Dec. 16, 2015)—Several key animal protection issues were at stake in the omnibus spending package released early this morning by congressional negotiators, and The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are celebrating major victories for horses, elephants, wolves, and other creatures. In addition to important funding for animal welfare enforcement and development of alternatives to animal testing, the omnibus bill:

  • Prohibits the use of funds to allow horse slaughter plants to open in the U.S.
  • Retains the Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves, and rejects congressional attempts to delist the species.
  • Allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to crack down on the domestic trade in ivory to protect elephants from poaching.
  • Funds much-needed protections for farm animals in research at federal facilities.

“Negotiators have done the right thing and included language to forbid anyone from setting up a horse slaughter plant on American soil,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We don’t round up dogs and cats, butcher them, and ship them to foreign markets, and it should be unthinkable to do that with a species that helped us settle the nation.”

“Lawmakers had the good sense to keep their paws off of wolves,” added Pacelle. “These animals occupy just a fraction of their original range, and the ancestors of the domesticated dog should continue to be protected from zealots who want to kill them in a head-hunting pursuit.”

Media Contact: Anna West: 240-751-2669;


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.