Congressman Moran Statement on Reports of Horse Slaughter Plants Reopening

Congressman James P. MoranCongressman James P. Moran (D-VA)

“I am pleased that the Obama Administration supports the reinstatement of the amendment I have offered to ban USDA inspections at horse slaughter plants…”

Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat and co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, today reaffirmed his commitment to banning horse slaughter in the U.S. His statement follows recent actions by the Oklahoma Legislature to repeal the state ban on horse slaughter and media reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may soon approve the opening of a horse slaughter plant in New Mexico.

Moran has spearheaded the fight in Congress to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter for human consumption, citing safety, cost, and public opposition to the practice.

“Recent news reports of horse slaughter plants reopening are deeply troubling. As one of the nearly 80 percent of Americans who oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption, we must fight to prevent the resumption of this inhumane, unsafe, and unnecessary practice,” Moran said. “At a time when USDA’s meat inspection budget is being slashed by sequestration, it would be irresponsible to divert dwindling food inspection resources to the horsemeat industry.”

“Secretary Vilsack has already indicated that federal meat inspectors will be furloughed, impacting the operations of over 6,000 food processing businesses,” Moran continued. “Requiring USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants would even further decrease funding available for beef, chicken, and pork inspections – meat actually consumed by Americans.”

A Colorado State University report concluded that 90 percent of horses going to slaughter “are healthy, sound horses with no behavior problems.” Horses are not raised as food animals and are routinely given substances, including the anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone, that are banned by the FDA from administration to animals destined for human consumption.

The expanding scandal in the EU involving beef adulterated with horsemeat demonstrates the risks involved in reinstating horse slaughter in the U.S. According to a London-based consumer research firm, U.K. frozen burger sales dropped by 43 percent during the month of February.

Moran continued: “I am pleased that the Obama Administration supports the reinstatement of the amendment I have offered to ban USDA inspections at horse slaughter plants, and will being working with my colleagues in the coming weeks to include that language in the final FY13 appropriations bill.”

The Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill ended a five-year funding ban on USDA horse slaughter inspections, allowing horse slaughter facilities to legally reopen. A Moran amendment banning horse slaughter inspections was approved in the House Appropriations Committee, but the language was stripped during closed-door conference committee negotiations. This amendment was again added to the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill last year, but the federal government is still operating on a continuing resolution based upon the 2012 bill.

37 comments on “Congressman Moran Statement on Reports of Horse Slaughter Plants Reopening

  1. Don’t you just love Jim Moran? He seems to be the only Congressman to openly talk about the necessity of defunding horsemeat inspections. In as much as the USDA will furlough meat inspectors, how on earth would they have money to train new inspectors and conduct inspections at the plants? Eat meat at your own peril.

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    • it is possible that private industry would be willing to fund this, but then they would have to expose themselves. These types prefer to avoid the front lines, and put up people who are willing to shed their self-respect and lose the respect of many others—but for some, I am sure they feel that it is worth it.

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      • Funny you mention the front fools for actual big Ag, aka “the real” puppet-masters. The same theory was thrown around last night on MSNBC about the NRA. They no longer represent individual gun owners…many of whom support backgrounds checks, they represent the gun industry. A comparison was made about the tobacco industry front fools also (the slithering under-the-rock slime Berman and Consumer Freedom (whatever) came from the tobacco attacks). It was very educational.

        Excellent observation.

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      • I do not please the private industry can fund their own USDA inspection. It has to be only from the United States Department of Agriculture and an unrelated party to the slaughter house for public safety.

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  2. I commend Congressman Moran on taking this step. This is an important interim step. However, we must press on for a ban on the slaughter of US horses both inside and outside our borders as well as a ban on transport of horses to slaughter.

    This is simply the right think to do now for multiple reasons, and if we fail to take this step legislatively and horse slaughter plants actually open in this country, it will only increase the cynicism that the public is already feeling regarding whether our government has any serious interest in protecting the health and safety of its citizens or prefers to spend our tax dollars to serve foreign governments for reasons that defy common sense.

    The inability to slaughter horses in this country will help agriculture more than hurt it. When it begins to look like the USDA, and meat producers, care a rip about people’s health by the actions they take and the ethical stand of refusing to produce a product known to have adverse affects on human health, particularly children, where they live in Oklahoma, Wyoming, or Russia, they will be taking a step towards rebuilding the trust that no longer exists with many citizens and consumers.

    A total ban on horse slaughter and transportation to slaughter is needed now.

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  3. Thanks for the good news and send our thanks to Jim Moran. We are still trying here in NM to get a bill passed that will make Horse Slaughter Plants and the transport of horses through NM for Slaughter illegal. That way we will be done with it.

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  4. When we lived in Georgia, there was an outbreak of E. coli some children picked up at a pool in a large water park. I had never known anyone who had ever had this until last year when one of my friends came down with this. She was told that she would have died had she not come to the emergency room when she did. She was in the hospital for weeks, had organ failure that was reversed, but she totally lost the sight in one eye. She lost nearly 60 pounds and she was not large to begin with. Now it is difficult for this formerly friendly, outgoing mother of two to even leave the house.

    Based on what we know from pro-horse slaughter advocates, we know that not all farmers and ranchers take those FDA “do not use on any any that is to become food” warning. If vets find it, they do not have any authority to report it if they were not the ones who wrote the prescription in the first place.

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  5. This is good news. But we must continue to try and get a full on national ban completely of horse slaughter. Eating meat of any kind of a scary deal with inspectors being furloughed. Eat meat at your own peril is correct!! >.<

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  6. I am so happy that congressman Moran saw fit to do the right thing. I’m also glad that Obama sees the truth about horse slaughter finally. I hope that they take horse near inspection out of the bill and stop this idiots who screwed up and allowed it. Thank RT for bringing this news to us. That was a ray of hope.

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  7. Yes! I am happy to hear the O. admin is supporting The Moran Amendment to ban the use of USDA funds for inspecting horse salughter plants. Without inspections, slaughter cannot proceed legally. It was by lifting that federal ban in the 2011 appropriations bill at the 11th hour (sneakily removed from the bill by 2 R. reps and 1 D. senator) that has caused all this talk of the resurgence in slaughter. Let’s just pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and be done with it!

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  8. Some tips on cooking meat. If your baking chicken, beef roast etc always check the internal temp with a meat thermometer. If the temp is 160 degrees and above it’s safe to eat. This is both beef, chicken, turkey and other meats. Under cooking is the main reason so many end up sick. This high temp kills the bacteria that is found on all raw meat. Any vegetables such as tomatoes, can be washed in hot water with a shot of dish soap along with grapes and any fruit that can be pealed such as apples, oranges, melons, water melons etc. Let set in the hot water for a few minutes and rinse with hot water and let drain. If you stop to think how many hands this produce has passed through before you bought it ending with the grocery staff, it’s quite a few. I buy the largest head of lettuce I can find and peal the outside layers off and wash my hands before I touch it again and store it in the frig. Keep in mind these heads of lettuce are cut by hand in the field not by machine. Wash all areas on the cabinet where raw meat is prepared with a mixture of bleach and water.

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  9. Thank you Jim Moran for your compassion and your angelic soul. I am touched by your humanitarian deeds toward these beautiful horses that are part of the American heritage. Horses should never be taken to slaughter. They are not for human consumption. Slaughtering them is a sin of immense proportions and those monsters who undertake such an evil task of slaughtering them will burn in hell for all eternity. Thank you again and again for all you do for these wonderful animals. May God bless you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers.

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  10. Red Alert:
    I just got a email from Equine Welfare Alliance that the senate will be opening the 2013 AG appropriations bill next week. They are adopting the bill passed by the house that does not have the defunding language in it. The house did not reopen discussions and carried over the existing language. It is very important that you contact Senator Mikulski and the subcommittee members and ask that the language defunding horse inspections be restored. The email went on to say please call now as next week may be to late.

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  11. “It is very important that you contact Senator Mikulski and the subcommittee members and ask that the language defunding horse inspections be restored.”

    I called all members of the Senate AG appropriations committee yesterday, and I wonder if the clerks answering the phone do get the messages to the senators. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s office didn’t know I could call the senator, because I am not of his state. I told them I could and continued. While it takes longer, a fax may be better as they cannot destroy the fax for years. This is horrible.

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  12. fact is..president obama asking them to remove this from the appropriations bill, is like a red flag to the right wing…if he had said don’t beat your children, they would be home right now thumping on them just to prove a point..unless the president is willing to “pardon” the horses..the senate is our only hope..I will contact my senators wyden and merkley on monday

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  13. we need to stop the rounding up of the wild horses in America we should much more control on such an atrocity seriously it is cruel and inhumane does anyone really understand the intelligence of this animal? It is not to be used for food where does the food chain stop?? My god let’s come together and help these poor horse be free!!!

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  14. There are only 8-10 Congressional Districts in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Every election, voters voted for GOOD Representatives, across party lines. Jim Moran, Tom Davis (retired), Frank Wolf always won. Unfortunately, I had Eric Cantor………..P U!!!!!!! The more rural you go, the stupider they get. Goodlatte is in the Shenandoah Valley, central…what an arrogant TROLL! BTW always on the House Cmte and wantin’ to slaughter equines, round up wild equines.

    Thank you Rep Moran. It is so refreshing to find an elected representative that has a brain, soul and conscience. Good human.

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  15. My sincere thanks goes out to Representative Jim Moran for his continued support of our equines. He has been there every step of the way, working with RT and so many others. He certainly is to be admired for his compassion, dedication and his commitment to bringing about justice for our wild/domestic equines. His strong leadership is very much appreciated and respected.

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  16. Thank you, Rep. Jim Moran! I only wish there were a lot more people in Congress like you, with your shared ideas. We all thank you, the American horses thank you! Let’s just hope & pray that Obama will, indeed, keep his word.

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    • Mike – to keep a horse slaughterhouse from opening you need to mobilize your friends and protest as close to the site as possible. You might try talking to the people at City Hall first. You probably need to get a permit of some kind anyway. See if you can talk to the Mayor. If they are resistant, then set up your protest in front of City Hall – you have that constitutional right. Try to get media coverage by alerting them to your activities.

      Luckily I didn’t have to do all of the above when nearby Hermiston, Oregon was threatened with a horse slaughter plant last spring. The Hermiston Mayor (a friend of my husband’s) was already against it as was a city council woman who owned a vegetable farm close to the intended site. I gave her informational flyers printed by Oregonians Against Horse Slaughter and she distributed them at the Hermiston Farmer’s Market (it is a small town).

      It takes a community, but I bet you will find most good people are repulsed by the spector of this and are just looking for someone to lead the charge. Best if it is someone from that town, so see if you know someone there you can talk to about being the front person.

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  17. I know this is a crazy idea, but would it be possible to “rent” land across from the horse auctions and set up an outdoor video on a large screen (even a large sheet or white cloth) of the horse slaughter video’s playing before, during and after horse auctions. Would this be considered “Freedon of Speech.”

    I would love to offer humane euthansia for the horse with a vet that could be offered instead of the auction or offer adoption right there and then. It would be great to offer the owner of the horse $100.00, which is what they would get or less from the auction.

    We have to do something to stop this.

    I believe we are going to need to get creative and a bit outrageous to stop horse slaughter. Horse slaughter shows the rest of the world how inhumane and evil the United States is. It is nothing more than animal abuse.

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