Arlington, VA

Rep. Jim Moran has inserted an amendment into an agricultural funding bill that will continue to ban federal inspections of horse meat. The ban effectively prevents the slaughter of horse meat for interstate or foreign export.

Moran’s office has issued the following press release about the amendment.

Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, successfully included an amendment to the Fiscal Year ’12 Agricultural Appropriations Act to eliminate funding for USDA inspection of horsemeat. By defunding federal inspections, the amendment will prevent the cruel practice of horse slaughter in the United States.

“Industrial slaughter of horses should not be condoned by the United States Government,” said Rep. Moran. “We have to put an end once and for all to this practice. These animals are a proud symbol of the American West, treasured by all for their beauty and majesty. They deserve to be cared for, not killed for foreign consumption.”

Identical language was overwhelmingly approved in 2006 and has been included in the Agricultural Appropriations bill every year when introduced in subcommittee. This year the language had been stripped out and the Moran amendment sought to reinstate it.

A ban on USDA inspections halts the issuance of certifications for horsemeat exports, which has stopped operations at horse slaughter facilities and prevented new facilities from opening. In addition to improving U.S. animal welfare, the Moran amendment will reduce federal spending by $5 million each year. The FY’12 Appropriations Act now heads to the floor for a full vote by the House of Representatives.

The amendment has received the support of the Animal Welfare Institute and the Humane Society of the United States.

“Adding millions of dollars to the federal budget to inspect foreign-owned horse slaughter plants would have been a step backwards for America’s iconic horses and a waste of tax dollars,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Congressman Jim Moran for leading the charge to restore this critical horse protection provision, and to the House Appropriations Committee for reining in this multi-million-dollar subsidy that would paved the way for the needless killing of American horses for foreign gourmands.”

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