No ban on horse plant inspection in FY2012 ag spending bill | TSLN.com

No ban on horse plant inspection in FY2012 ag spending bill

There was a major victory in Congress Thursday night, Nov. 17, for supporters of humane horse processing and the reopening of slaughter plants in the U.S.

The U.S. House and Senate passed the FY2012 agricultural appropriations bill, which, for the first time since 2005, did not include language prohibiting the use of federal funds to inspect U.S. horse processing plants. That prohibition effectively closed all U.S. plants.

The spending bill, which sets the spending for several departments including USDA, passed the House in a 298-121 vote, and the Senate, 70-30.

“For the first time since 2005, the de-facto ban on horse processing has been taken off the table,” said Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE). “While we have a long way to go, responsible processing represents a vital first step in reversing the unintended consequences to blame for the dismal state of neglected horses and their frustrated caregivers across our country. Reinstating a humane, accountable, and legal management tool is good for horses, good for owners, and is good policy.”

In June, the Government Accountability Office released a study on domestic horse slaughter, which reported an increase in the number of neglected or abandoned horses since the ban took effect. However, the analysis recognized the difficulty of distinguishing between the impact of the slaughter ban and the effects of other factors like recession or drought. The GAO report recommended that Congress allow the USDA to resume inspection of horses for slaughter.

Animal rights groups and others against horse processing aren’t giving up. News reports say they continue to back the passage of the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, sponsored by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN). The bill would, among other provisions, permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S.

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There was a major victory in Congress Thursday night, Nov. 17, for supporters of humane horse processing and the reopening of slaughter plants in the U.S.

The U.S. House and Senate passed the FY2012 agricultural appropriations bill, which, for the first time since 2005, did not include language prohibiting the use of federal funds to inspect U.S. horse processing plants. That prohibition effectively closed all U.S. plants.

The spending bill, which sets the spending for several departments including USDA, passed the House in a 298-121 vote, and the Senate, 70-30.

“For the first time since 2005, the de-facto ban on horse processing has been taken off the table,” said Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE). “While we have a long way to go, responsible processing represents a vital first step in reversing the unintended consequences to blame for the dismal state of neglected horses and their frustrated caregivers across our country. Reinstating a humane, accountable, and legal management tool is good for horses, good for owners, and is good policy.”

In June, the Government Accountability Office released a study on domestic horse slaughter, which reported an increase in the number of neglected or abandoned horses since the ban took effect. However, the analysis recognized the difficulty of distinguishing between the impact of the slaughter ban and the effects of other factors like recession or drought. The GAO report recommended that Congress allow the USDA to resume inspection of horses for slaughter.

Animal rights groups and others against horse processing aren’t giving up. News reports say they continue to back the passage of the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, sponsored by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN). The bill would, among other provisions, permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S.

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