ASPCA Commends U.S. House of Representatives for Passing Strong Animal Welfare Provisions in Omnibus Spending BillFY2018 spending bill includes provisions that prevent the slaughter of wild and domestic horses, and compels USDA to restore public access to animal welfare inspection and enforcement records
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passing important provisions to protect animals in the FY2018 omnibus spending bill. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 maintains the long-standing ban on horse slaughter inspections, retains protections for wild horses, and provides for more transparency in the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA).
“The ASPCA applauds Congressional Leadership for taking these critical steps to protect animals through this omnibus legislation,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “Congress has repeatedly affirmed support for the long-standing ban on horse slaughter in the United States, protecting our nation’s wild horses from senseless death and slaughter, and ensuring that the public will once again have access to critical animal welfare enforcement records. If signed into law, these provisions will be a huge victory for millions of our nation’s animals.”
The FY2018 omnibus package maintains a ban on horse slaughter inspections until the end of the fiscal year in September 30, 2018. This provision effectively ensures horse slaughter plants will not re-open in this country. The majority of horses slaughtered for human consumption are purchased at auctions and are young, healthy animals who could otherwise go on to lead productive lives with loving owners.
The bill also continues the prohibition on killing healthy, federally-protected wild horses. This provision was omitted in the President’s most recent budget request, which would have allowed the Department of Interior to kill wild horses or sell them directly to commercial slaughter.
In addition to protecting horses, the omnibus bill increases funding for the USDA to enforce the AWA and HPA, and includes language compelling the USDA to restore public access to AWA and HPA inspection and enforcement information. This information, abruptly removed by the USDA from its website in February 2017, is vital to monitor cruelty within the commercial dog breeding industry and other businesses using and exhibiting animals.
The bill also maintains funding for continued inspection of USMARC and other USDA animal research facilities, incorporates protections against wildlife trafficking, and omits legislative riders which would have threatened gray wolves.
For more information about the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.