Senate Appropriations Committee Votes to Block Horse Slaughter for Another Year

Photo by Tatiana GettelmanWashington, DC—Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee voice voted in favor of an amendment to the FY17 Agriculture Appropriations bill to prohibit the USDA from spending any funds to inspect horse slaughter facilities. The committee has approved this language for the last few years. Such a move effectively prevents any plants from operating in the United States.

The House Appropriations Committee approved a similar amendment to the House version of the FY17 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Both bills will be considered by the full House and Senate later this year. The bipartisan amendment was sponsored by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chris Coons (D-DE).

“We commend the strong bipartisan support on the Senate Appropriations Committee for the amendment to again block the USDA from spending tax dollars to inspect potential horse slaughter plants,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs at the Animal Welfare Institute. “Coupled with passage of identical language in the House Appropriations Committee, we now hope Congress will move swiftly to approve the final FY17 Agriculture Appropriations bill.”

“Illinois banned horse slaughter in 2007 and I support the end of the practice in the United States,” said Sen. Kirk. “Americans have a long-established history with horses and overwhelmingly reject their slaughter for profit."

"New Mexicans regularly write and call asking me to ensure we never allow horse slaughter in the United States, and this amendment will ensure no federal dollars are used to allow the practice to exist," said Sen. Udall. "Horses are a beautiful symbol of Western independence. Most Americans find the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption repulsive, and they have no tolerance for attempts to open horse slaughtering plants. This amendment is a strong step forward, and I will keep fighting to prohibit horse slaughter in the United States."

For more information on horse slaughter and the SAFE Act, which would ban slaughter permanently, visit


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