Moran Calls for Ban on Horse Slaughter

Press Release from the office of Congressmen Jim Moran

Joins animal advocates to deliver over 1,000 letters of support to Congress

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Photography by Terry Fitch 

Washington, DC – On March 27th, 2012, Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat and Ranking Member on the House Interior and Environment Subcommittee, joined advocates from the Equine Welfare Alliance, Children 4 Horses, and the Wild Horse Freedom Federation to call on Congress to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter for human consumption. Following the press conference, the groups delivered more than 1,000 letters from the children’s letter writing campaign to Members of Congress.

“Today, we join with thousands of voices across the country calling on Congress to re-enact the ban on horse slaughter,” said Rep. Moran. “Horses hold a special place in our nation’s history and culture. Slaughtering these treasured creatures is an ugly practice and should not be condoned by Congress.”

Following a five year ban on funding for USDA horse slaughter inspections, effectively ending the practice in the U.S., the fiscal year 2012 Agricultural Appropriations Bill eliminated this provision. Moran spearheaded the fight to retain this legislative language, winning bipartisan support in the House Appropriations Committee. Unfortunately, the language was stripped during closed-door conference committee negotiations. Currently, no slaughter facilities have reopened but should the lack of a ban continue, that is likely to change.

“When 80 percent of the American public opposes this practice, congressional leaders have a responsibility to listen to the people,” Moran continued.

Moran also raised concerns with the safety of horsemeat. Unlike farm animals raised for their meat, horses are routinely given substances, including the anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone, which can prove dangerous if consumed by humans. The New York Times reported recently on the widespread use of drugs among racing horses.

“Just because we are children doesn’t mean we can’t stand up for what we believe in,” said Declan Gregg, 9-year old founder of Children 4 Horses who led the children’s letter writing campaign. “I think horse slaughter is inhumane, cruel and unnecessary. Horses and all animals should be treated with love and respect.”

Moran is a longtime advocate for equine and other animal welfare issues. He serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. Last Congress, Moran championed the “Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act of 2010” and the “Truth in Fur Labeling Act,” both of which became law.  For these successful efforts, Rep. Moran was named last year’s Humane Legislator of the Year by the US Humane Society. This year Moran introduced the Traveling Exotic Animals Protection Act to restrict the use of exotic, non-domestic animals in traveling shows.