Congressional Hearing Brings Us One Step Closer to Protecting Equines
Update–Saturday, May 28: This hearing helped move the bill to a new high watermark this Congress–H.R. 3355 now has 218 official cosponsors, which is more than half the U.S. House of Representatives! This means that this bill would win on a floor vote!
The U.S. House of Representatives has taken a major step forward to protect our nation’s equines. Yesterday, the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing on two very important equine bills: the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act and the Prevent All Soaring Tactics (PAST) Act.
The SAFE Act would permanently ban the slaughter of American horses in our country and prohibit the export of American horses for slaughter abroad, while the PAST Act would correct gaps in the Horse Protection Act to crack down on illegal “soring.” Soring is the indefensible practice of intentionally inflicting pain on horses’ legs and hooves to illicit an unnaturally high-stepping gait.
We greatly appreciate Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky, who sponsors the SAFE Act, Ranking Member Gus Bilirakis for bringing this bill before the subcommittee and Chairman Frank Pallone for his support. Chairwoman Schakowsky has been a fierce champion for ending horse slaughter, and we are grateful for her clear vision and good heart.
Katie Kraska, ASPCA Director of Federal Legislation, was invited to testify before the committee and delivered clear and compelling support for both bills, noting the avoidable suffering that both the horse slaughter and Tennessee Walking Horse industries cause to horses, their owners and the equine industry’s reputation at large.
“Every horse, no matter how beloved, is one sale, one change of hands, one theft away from falling victim to slaughter across our borders. Despite Congress’s yearly repudiation of horse slaughter and a domestic ban, as well as passage of the Horse Protection Act to ban horse soring in 1970, these inhumane practices have lingered as a reality for American horses and the people who love them. These bills would finally put an end to the cruelty that Congress, much of the equine industry, riders and enthusiasts, and animal protection groups have been working together to stop. Until they pass, we cannot achieve our mission of good welfare for horses in this country.”
The number of equines exported for slaughter has been dropping in recent years, but the only permanent way to stop this cruelty is to pass the SAFE Act. Time is running out–we must act quickly if we want to pass the bill. Learn how you can take action now by visiting aspca.org/safeact TODAY!
If you want to get more involved and use your voice as an equine advocate, join our Horse Action Team! We will work closely with you to effectively press your lawmakers to pass this bill once and for all.