Good News from Congress: Spending Bill Extends Important Animal Protections

May 4, 2017

a cow and a horse

This week, Congress passed a $1.17 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through September and includes some hard-won victories for animal welfare.

  • The bill continues the long-standing prohibition on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) use of taxpayer dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities. This provision ensures that the cruel, predatory horse slaughter industry cannot resume in the United States for now. By keeping horse slaughterhouses shuttered in this country, we are one step closer to passing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which would permanently ban this horrific practice.
  • The ASPCA and our animal welfare advocates helped defeat a proposed provision—championed by Big Ag interests—that would have blocked the implementation of landmark welfare standards for farm animals raised under the USDA Organic label. (While these standards survived this latest attack, they still may be blocked by the Trump administration despite the overwhelming support of consumers and organic farmers. The ASPCA continues the fight to ensure that these long-overdue standards are fully implemented.)
  •  The spending bill also protects farm animals by dedicating funds for oversight of animal welfare at USDA research facilities, including the troubled U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Nebraska.

These victories could not have happened without the thousands of ASPCA supporters who contacted their Members of Congress about the importance of animal welfare. Work on the next spending bill begins almost immediately, and we’ll need your help reaching out to legislators to make sure these safeguards don’t get rolled back. Please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to get involved in enacting stronger protections for animals