Press Release from the NJ Assembly Republicans
BILL WOULD PROHIBIT SLAUGHTER OR SALE OF HORSE MEAT IN NEW JERSEY MONTHS AFTER FEDERAL BAN LIFTED
Sending a strong message that New Jersey does not eat horse meat, the General Assembly approved bipartisan legislation that would ban the slaughter or sale of horses for human consumption.
Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington , Middlesex and Mercer, introduced the measure, A-2023, after a federal ban was lifted last fall that reverses a 2006 decision by Congress to withdraw funding to inspect plants that butchered horses – effectively banning horse consumption.
“New Jersey does not eat horse meat and our horses will not be taken from the stable to a table,” Dancer said. “The horse is New Jersey’s state animal and we appreciate these magnificent animals for their grace and beauty. We do not want them butchered or sold to slaughterhouses in our communities for human consumption.”
The bill would prohibit anyone from knowingly slaughtering or selling a horse for human consumption. Violators would be guilty of a disorderly persons offense with penalties up to $100 and 30 days imprisonment plus civil fines between $500 and $1,000 for each horse slaughtered or each carcass or meat product sold. The penalties and fines are consistent with the current state law in effect that bans the slaughter of man’s best friend, the dog, for human consumption of dog meat.
Although there is strong bipartisan support in Congress to resume the federal ban through the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, Dancer pointed to New Mexico where a slaughterhouse is trying to open and has an application pending before the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“New Jersey is taking the lead on this issue to make sure horses aren’t taken from the pasture to the plate,” Dancer said. “There are several organizations that provide adoption homes for horses, rather than sending them to slaughterhouses for their meat.”
It has bipartisan support from Assemblymen Gilbert “Whip” Wilson and Nelson Albano.
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