Major Milestone Achieved on the Road to Banning Horse Slaughter

December 13, 2019


Today, on the National Day of the Horse, we are celebrating a major milestone in the fight to end horse slaughter. There are now officially 218 U.S. Representatives committed to vote in favor of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, a federal ban on this grisly practice.

Why is 218 important? This number represents more than half of the members in the U.S. House, and our democratic process should now allow this bill to move to the floor of the House for a vote. Thank you to each and every one of you who has worked so hard with us to help secure this moment; majority support for the SAFE Act has never been achieved this swiftly and early in a session of Congress. We appreciate your commitment and we ask you to stay with us through this next important phase of work.

A gap exists in our federal laws that enables horses to be plucked from auctions and pastures and sent over our borders to be butchered for foreign demand. For each year that passes without fully closing this loophole, we lose at least 80,000 equine companions, athletes and work partners to this tragic fate.

As we’ve been on the ground in communities providing vet care, euthanasia, and rehoming support, we have learned from owners that the continued looming threat of horse slaughter is often what causes them to hold on to their horses beyond their own limits. Sadly, this sometimes leads to the very neglect and harm we seek to prevent. We must eliminate any legal option for horse slaughter for the sake of our country’s horses—and for their owners, who agonize about releasing them to new homes for fear they will fall into the slaughter pipeline. It is past time to pass the SAFE Act.

Time and time again, Congress has affirmed its commitment to ending horse slaughter and keeping this industry off American soil by barring federal funds that would allow it—this is truly a rare issue of bipartisan agreement. But the final step of making it permanent and prohibiting the export of our horses is the most critical piece of this work. We must press on to close the door on this practice once and for all. 

With majority support in the U.S. House, we now have the best opportunity to end horse slaughter we’ve seen in years. We must get over the finish line this Congress, and we need your help to do it! Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to quickly and easily contact your members of Congress and urge them to support and pass the SAFE Act.