Senate Committee Approves USDA Bill; Horse Slaughter Defunding Intact

“One step closer…”

Happy Pele by Terry FitchThe Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved its version of the 2017 fiscal year Agriculture Appropriations bill, the American Horse Council reports. This bill provides funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017.  The bill contains several provisions that impact the horse industry, including the so-called “horse slaughter defunding provision,” funding for USDA equine health activities and enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.

Horse Slaughter
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) offered an amendment to prohibit funding for USDA inspections at U.S. horse slaughter facilities that was  adopted by a voice vote. This prohibition will  prevent horse slaughter facilities from operating in the U.S. if this bill is signed into law.

Currently, No horse slaughter facilities are operating in the U.S and a prohibition  on funding for inspectors at such facilities from last year’s FY 2016 USDA bill is in effect until Sept. 30, 2016. If that prohibition expires, USDA will be required to provide inspectors and horse slaughter facilities if any were to open.

A similar defunding  amendment was adopted by the House Appropriations Committee when it approved the House version of the USDA appropriations bill.

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Equine Health
The bill would provide $939 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS is the USDA agency responsible for protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, including responding to contagious equine disease outbreaks.        Funding for Equine, Cervid, and Small Rumi ant health would be set at $19.7 million, this is a $200,000 increase over FY 2015.

Horse Protection Act
The bill provides $706,000  for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act a $9,000 increase over FY 2016 funding.

The bill must now be approved by the full Senate


  1. Thank goodness. Although commercial horse slaughter plants have not been in operation in the United States for about ten years, but let’s not forget that it was not long ago that the screams of horses and burros being slaughtered could be heard right here in America. We have come a long ways … and we have far to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t know the last time I read something good. However, I’m not sure what the Senate will do…..but Nevada’s Senator Dean Heller doesn’t do a hell of a lot for our wild horses, sage grouse, and pretty much all other animals and wildlife. Senator Heller is not one of my favorite people.


  3. Ok. But when is that boneheaded Boehner going to be voted out along with his cronies? Maybe then the Safe Act will be released by committee. It’s obvious that they don’t care about people and their children and the safety of the meat they eat. Time for them to be sent packing..


  4. Remember….it’s election year

    How the GAO deceived Congress about horse slaughter
    The same three congressmen who requested the GAO study
    Were responsible for removing language from an agriculture appropriations spending bill on November 18, reversing a five-year ban on horsemeat inspections


    Sen. HERB KOHL (D-WI)
    Sen. ROY BLUNT (R-MO)


  5. It would be cheaper on the taxpayers if the defunding of the inspections would be made permanent that would put a stop to the money grubbing politicians looking for a fast way to make a buck from their friends in the racing industry along with numerous over breeders and organizations across the country. It is a fight to the death every time this comes up to be defunded this time it barely passed. That goes to show you just what a corrupt government we the taxpayer have to deal with. Every one of these AHoles that voted against the defunding needs to be kicked out of office the next time they are running for reelection.


  6. Grrrrr……good news but excuse me while I rant. This is why I despise horseracing, even tho I do peek to see those beautiful animals. 2 horses died today and had to be euthanized right at the track, and from the looks of things, the winning jockey cut off Nyquist and could have caused another one, or several! Terrible.

    Why do they insist upon running horses in bad weather and dangerous conditions? It’s all about winning and money, and deaths are just another day at the track. So wasteful. As I said, I do watch but in bad weather and even in good weather, I am on pins and needles. Poor animals. 😦


  7. Now if we could do away with auctions, kill pens and slaughter all together, I would be very happy. The disgusting treatment of animals has to stop. Stiffer fines and punishment (prison time) need to be put in place. It is a shame that people are so money hungry they do not care about the pain and death they cause to Gods creatures. May they all die in extreme pain and go straight to hell!


  8. It’s great news, but honestly they are & will still be shipping horses north (Canada) & south (Mexico) so we still have a long way to go to ensure the safety of our beautiful four leged furry friends!


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