Victory: U.S. House Includes Stronger Protections for Animals in the FY 2021 Federal Budget

July 24, 2020


Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 7608, the sprawling FY 2021 appropriations package that funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Interior, among others. This legislation retains some important animal protection provisions that were included in the committee-passed versions of the Agriculture Appropriations and Interior Appropriations bills, including:

  • Longstanding anti-slaughter protections for domestic and wild horses.
  • Funding and direction for a sustainable wild horse and burro management plan that includes robust fertility control.
  • Measures aimed at ending the cruel practice of soring—the intentional infliction of pain to the legs of certain show horses.
  • Slowing down extreme-speed slaughter lines during the COVID-19 public health crisis to better protect farmed animals and slaughterhouse workers.

What’s more, the House passed additional provisions that could improve animal welfare. An amendment from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) would prohibit the expenditure of funds to implement an Executive Order intended to force slaughterhouses to continue operating during the pandemic, despite the dangerous and rapid spread of COVID-19 in those facilities. 

We’re also pleased to see the passage of amendments to:

  • Require investigation of the USDA’s equine protection programs.
  • Encourage dedication of $11 million of the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro budget to humane fertility control.
  • Push the investigative division of the USDA’s Office of Inspector General to investigate more animal cruelty crimes.
  • We thank the members of Congress who worked to advance these crucial protections for animals.

Now the Senate must advance their versions of these important funding bills! We urge senators to include and build upon these essential protections for animals. You can help fight for these protections by joining our Regional Advocacy Field Team!