Horse slaughter in the U.S. remains illegal
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from


Animal Law Coalition
March 2018

This bill means that horse slaughter facilities that would produce horsemeat for human consumption cannot operate legally in this country.

The Omnibus spending bill that will keep the government operating through Fiscal Year 2018 does contain language defunding USDA inspections of facilities in the U.S. that would slaughter horses for human consumption. That means horse slaughter facilities that would produce horsemeat for human consumption cannot operate legally in this country.

Horse slaughter for human consumption was illegal in the U.S. following a series of court decisions in 2007. Then from November 17, 2011 until January 18, 2014 language in the federal budget legislation funded the USDA inspections, thus legalizing horse slaughter for human consumption. No horse slaughter facility ever actually operated during that time, however. But on January 18, 2014 President Obama signed into law a budget once again defunding the inspections, and horse slaughter for human consumption has been illegal in the U.S. since that time.

The omnibus bill also prohibits the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from killing or selling for slaughter for human consumption wild horses and burros. But as Suzanne Roy of American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, states, “So let’s celebrate today, but while we do, let’s remember that this fight is far from over. This spending bill expires on September 30, 2018, and Zinke’s Interior Department will double down on its efforts to slaughter our wild horses and burros. The next appropriations fight – for Fiscal Year 2019 — has already begun.” Go here for how you can help continue to stop the killing and sale for slaughter of America’s iconic wild horses and burros.

Original report: As of this writing, the public does not yet know the contents of the Omnibus spending bill that must be enacted by this Friday, March 23, 2018 to keep the government operating for the rest of Fiscal Year 2018. That means, as Suzanne Roy, of American Wild Horse Campaign, explains, we don’t know if the bill “contains the Senate version…which prohibits the killing and slaughter of healthy wild horses and burros, or the House version, which would allow the BLM to kill as many as 90,000 of these iconic animals”.

We also don’t know if the Omnibus spending bill continues to prohibit funding of USDA inspections of horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. Without these required inspections, horse slaughter for h human consumption is illegal. The funding prohibition has meant horse slaughter for human consumption is illegal in the U.S.

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