Moran Acts to Renew Horse Slaughter Ban

by ARLnow.com June 1, 2011 at 11:39 am 3,023 47 Comments

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.”

  • CW

    Glad he’s got his priorities straight!

  • doodly

    But cows and pigs and chickens are just fine.

    • Thes

      If you had to live near a chicken for any length of time, you would probably not mind them being killed for food.

      • doodly

        I have lived near chickens. And I don’t mind them being killed for food. They’re delicious.

        My comment was about how Moran and the dooshes behind this bill seem to think horses are special.

        • Would there be an animal (or animals) you think are special enough to not be utilized for food?

          • doodly


          • So your neighbor should worry about their dog then?

          • doodly

            I don’t steal other people’s pets and eat them. But my own dog might be nervous.

          • Now you are just in it for “shock value”. Poor Fido.

        • pasuku

          I’m with doodly. The arbitrary distinction between food animals and friend animals continues.

          • Humans are animals. Would you consider eating one of your friends, or do you think only eating humans who aren’t your friends is ok?

          • doodly

            The distinction between humans eating animals and humans eating humans isn’t exactly arbitrary though.

          • True. But pasuku brought the word “friend” into the discussion. I’d not want one of my friends to be eaten regardless of the type of animal they are.

          • doodly

            Right. He was referring to species, not particular animals. You fall in love with a cow, by all means, don’t eat it or sell it to a slaughterhouse.

          • Oh…. so if the animal is considered your property under the law then you should be able to do with it as you please. I’m not wholely opposed to that. But, should wild horses be considered usable for meat?

            I had a friend who had horses. I know one of his options toward the end of the animals life, when knowing he had to put the animal down, was to sell it for slaughter. Having had a big farm, I know of at least one occasion where he rented a backhoe and dug a huge hole and had the horse euthanized next to it. It guess it all comes down to what is humane for your “friend”.

          • doodly

            I remember a scandal a few years back when people found out some of their fur coats were dog fur. Um, yeah, all fur is the skin of some kind of dead animal, duh.

          • I agree, but who said anything about fur? There was also a scandal (probably many more than one) where they’ve found cats in Chinese restaurant freezers.

          • doodly

            I said something about fur.

  • Curious George

    Horse is just a fast cow. I really don’t see the problem with eating one.

    • doodly

      Catching it is the problem.

      • Curious George

        Naw. You just need a really big leg hold trap. Or a rifle.

  • Chris

    I had horse for dinner on multiple ocassions growing up in Europe. It’s really quite good; big flavor, rich yet lean, almost sweet. In particular I remember having a tenderloin cut and how it takes a sauce amazingly well. Highly recomend it if you are ever afforded the oportunity.

  • Glass bowls

    This law is shortsighted… the horses are still being slaughtered, they’re just being trucked to Mexico or Canada for the occasion.

    And now instead of being humanely slaughtered in a U.S. facility that routinely gets inspected, they have to undergo a brutal several-hundred-mile trailer haul, often without food or water, to be slaughtered at facilities that undergo little to no oversight whatsoever, and which likely aren’t using the most humane methods.

    Way to look out for animal welfare. [eye roll]

  • charlie

    apparently the horse lobby is better than the chicken lobby.
    i think killing animals for food is deplorable.
    i think Moran should explain himself on his clear bias towards 4-legged animals at the expense of all others.
    it isn’t like the horses vote, and very little of the 8th district can include a horse farm, so clearly Moran is being paid for this vote.

    • doodly

      Being paid? It’s not possible that he, like, actually cares about horses?

      • charlie

        saving horses doesn’t seem to be a top-priority for 8th district constituents — so why is he doing it? Someone has lobbied him to do it. I want to know who. This is why Congress can’t get anything done because people stick things like this in bills.
        and I mean “paid” in the very loose term, as is appropriate to congress.

        • Burger

          This is probably right question.

          Why in the heck is Moran involved in this issue given it has to deal with most Western States.

          • doodly

            I actually lifted a finger to go find out more about this.

            Here’s what I found:

            “Moran has a long history of animal protection advocacy. He currently serves as the co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. Moran received the Humane Society’s highest award in 2010 for championing the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, enacted in February 2011, which requires accurate labeling on all fur garments. During his time in Congress, Moran has led the charge on a number of issues related to the protection of animals, including the successful passage of the Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act of 2010.”


            So he cares about animal welfare. Big deal. Sounds good to me.

          • Stu Pendus

            Now tell us what he did for animals before he became a vote-whoring Congress critter.

          • JimMoron

            Yep – I care about all animals. As long as I’m not married to them, or they’re Jewish or Republican.

          • disgusted

            A Democrat sponsors a bill that forbids movies of puppies being squashed – literally – and cynical partisan jerks will find a way to bash him for it. Nothing is sacred.

          • Burger

            Because squashing puppies and ensuring the humane way to kill and eat a horse are in totally different spectrums of what is acceptable in life.

            No one is talking about squashing a horse but horse is considered edible in many parts of the world and use to be okay in dog food. I see no real reason to discontinue this strategy beyond that Jim Moran has a soft spot for horses in another part of the country because he was given a pony ride at his 5th birthday.

          • Rufio Mendoza Formoza

            As far as Rep. Moran’s involvement in horse stuff – he is also the the top Democrat on the Interior & Environment Appropriations subcommittee — which, among many agencies & depts, overseas funding for BLM where a lot of this debate is occurring.

        • doodly

          Again, why do you assume that he doesn’t simply care about horses? Or animal rights in general? Or that his constituents don’t? Perhaps someone lobbied him to do it – so what?

          And lobbying is not the same thing as “being paid” to do something. And don’t go around using terms loosely – that’s dangerous.

          • charlie

            eh. paid paid paid. I didn’t say anything about money — being paid can me tons of things — favors, other vote supports, compromise, etc. No one in Congress does anything out of the goodness of their heart. color me cynical if you must.

    • Chris

      Charlie, deplorable as it may be, they are killed for food because eating them alive is both challenging and unnecessarily painful to both the eater and that being eaten. I choose to eat killed food because it is the safe and humane thing to do.

    • PhilL

      There used to be a property just over the McLean-Arlington border, if you followed Nottingham Street a couple blocks into McLean, that had horse stables and occasionally some horses running around.

      • charlie

        ha. you are right it WAS a gorgeous piece of land.

        • charlie

          WAS a nice property…

    • Jim

      Let’s try to stick with the facts here. I disagree with Jim on this issue but do not doubt the sincerity of his motives. No doubt many of his constituents are queasy about the idea of eating horsemeat and oppose the expenditure of federal funds to facilitate it. It is unfair and inaccurate to suggest that he was “paid’ for this vote. The moneyed lobbying on this issue opposes Moran’s amendment. The Humane Society of the US and PETA (not deep pockets contributors) are on his side.

      • Burger

        but his involvement within the facilitation is costing people jobs out west. Not only are there no federal inspectors which mean much of the horse killing will go on under the table, there were a number of private enterprises closed.

        He hasn’t supplied any real difference between why it is acceptable to kill a cow then a horse.

        • Stu Pendus

          That is an interesting spin on it. Now, if you can find locations out west where this amendment might cost people jobs, and find out what their congressman thinks about this, there might be a story there.

  • charlie

    try again. was a nice property.

  • Jason S.

    I’ve eaten horse meat, it’s no big deal. I’ll eat it again when I have the chance.

  • Its about Dam Time..

    I have to say it must be easy to be an elected official due to that 21 Air headed Representive believed the Pro slaughter bull crap. Its all about the buck with these people who think haulting slaughter caused the market crash.

    In FACT far from the truth. Pro slaughter were paid to lie to the public as long as the money came in it was a free for all.

    The very first plant opened in 1951 It was open with the intentions to process cattle but after a few years these french people made the secret switch to horses.

    Texas had already laws in place to protect horses based in 1949. These plants were NOT paying gross income taxes nor export tarriffs.

    When they told that Auctioneers and killers could make money they jumped on board and continue to lie to the public. The public was never allowed in the plants.

    The Texas Cattle raisers association was getting $3.00 per head and Texas AM were getting $2.00 per head. The AVMA and the AAEP took an Oath to protect horses Yet they failed their own Oaths.

    Just recently a large presentation was to take place from these organizations, but then a (FOIA) freedom of information acts was requested. This came out with a 900 page report with photos and information of the horses travel, condition and violations.

    This was NOT humane by any means Yet all were making money and people who abused and neglected horses were now being PAID. Now the main reason slaughter is wanted in the US is because Canada is lowering the base price for killers meaning more horses are needed to recoupe the cost of fuel etc. At $4.00 a gallon killers were no longer laughing to the bank they were crying to the banks. Sue Wallis and other Goons supported this criminal activity.

    We are disappointed that 21 elected officials did NOT do there research on the facts. Pro slaughter do NOT realize Car sells are down Homes are down Traveling is down so whats makes the horse market any different.

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  • Michelle

    If you are anti-slaughter and drink milk or eat meat of any sort, you are a hypocrite. Any meat product you buy at the market was a living animal that was slaughtered and dairy cows are turned into hamburger when their production drops. Bull calves out of dairy cows are turned into veal. Aren’t these animals worthy of protection, too? Why not, anti-slaughter folks? There are starving people in the world and people are promoting putting good protein into the ground. Not very intelligent.


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