Horse News

Congressman Moran Applauds White House Effort to Block Horse Slaughter

Source: By Debra Zimmerman Murphey of

“public backlash has triggered grassroots and national attention…on horse slaughter

For the first time on the policy front, and through the Obama White House, the United States Department of Agriculture’s proposed upcoming budget supports an initiative to defund horse meat inspections in the United States.

Previously, this kind of action had not been initiated by the executive branch, according to U.S. Congressman Jim Moran’s office. But as news of horse slaughter starting again in America intensifies, a public backlash has triggered grassroots and national attention. The announcement regarding the USDA’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget request, which does not include future funding for horse meat inspections, came last week.

“The USDA’s inclusion of language to defund horse slaughter inspections in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget request is an important step in the right direction. This decision reflects the food-safety concerns inherent to horse meat and is consistent with the 80 percent of the American people who oppose this inhumane industry. It is now up to Congress to do the right thing and vote to approve this language in the Fiscal Year 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill,” Moran said.

But Moran also points out that Congress has the “power of the purse” and there will be a battle regarding approving the defunding policy. He acknowledges that the pro-slaughter lobby is strong, but is hopeful that members of the public will let their elected officials know that horse slaughter is inhumane and that they do not want to financially support this kind of business sector.

Moran (D-Va.), a vocal opponent of horse slaughter, had requested just weeks ago in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack that the USDA include defunding language in its upcoming budget as a way of stopping horse slaughter in our country. In that letter, Moran raised several concerns about horse slaughter resuming in America and the meat from butchered horses being shipped abroad and sold for human consumption. His reservations include public-health issues, such as people eating potentially toxic horse meat, and pressing budget matters.

Word from the White House — LISTEN to Part 1 of Moran interview

The Meat of the Issue — LISTEN to Part 2 of Moran interview

Indeed, Moran’s push now is even more urgent as the horse slaughter landscape has drastically shifted in recent months:

  • Oklahoma passed legislation that ends a 50-year ban on horse slaughter.
  • There are pending applications with the USDA for horse meat inspections at proposed horse slaughter plants in Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee, and one for a facility in New Mexico which filed a lawsuit and whose owner is awaiting the go-ahead to open the first horse slaughter operation in the United States since 2007 (sources: Bloomberg, The New York Times and Front Range Equine Rescue).
  • The horse slaughter debate takes on a new intensity in light of a mounting controversy in Europe over mislabeled meat products, including those containing trace amounts of horse meat, and what creeps into the global food-chain.
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8 replies »

  1. Seems as if this issue is really gaining momemtum, but we should not let up on the pressure. As part of the Virginia Equine Welfare Group, we are visiting capitol hill Thursday to press for passage of S541 and HR1094. It is still in committee and needs to get out before it dies there. Contact your senators and representatives and politely ask them to co-sponsor these bills.


  2. We also need to stay on congress to pass the budget language that defunds USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants


  3. Keep Pressing OnWard, and UpWards! We are herding pro-slaughter proponents back the other direction, we just need to get them through the gates and latch them! So use all your horse-sense and your dogged determinated that makes us great horsemen and horsewomen. Use all the guts it takes to step out and save someone. I would walk through fire and wolves to save the horses NOW! I am really fired up. Keep rounding up signatures on under animals Petition to overturn the legalization of the slaughter of horses for human consumption. I comment on every single news comment section in the world I am putting the reasons why horse people need to band together. We are NOT to be cut away from our horses and watch them put on the locks. I will NOT stand for us to have the empty halters. We will keep our horses, and they have the empty halters!
    I keep pushing people to contact Congress, people are scared, but they don’t have to be-remind everyone there are strength in numbers! We are no longer one, we are ALL!


  4. Our hearts go out to Boston Mass for the bombings, we have friends in Boston who are horse people and runners, luckily they are ok and were past it before anything occurred. So while I was busy waiting to make sure my friends were ok and putting our condolences and concerns out there on Boston Marathon Facebook page, I tripped on over to to check our Horse slaughter petition and found out an interesting piece of info. I have been collecting signatures everywhere for this petition. Petition to overturn the legalization of the slaughter of horses for human consumption. I found out that screen shots of the totals daily was a great idea. Because yesterday we only needed 75000 signatures, and we had 54,118 as of 5pm but today, of course, pro-slaughter upped it to we have to obtain 100,000 signatures! When I contacted the webpage they don’t know a thing of course! I am really angry that they are so scared that we could win that they have to keep resulting to contorting the facts and evidence. The pro-slaughter people are actually so deceptive its unbelievable!


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