U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky today introduced legislation that would permanently ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States and prohibit export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses.
“Horses have a special place in our nation’s history, and these majestic creatures were not raised as food for humans,” Schakowsky said, in announcing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2019.
Slaughtering horses for human consumption is currently illegal under a temporary ban that requires annual Congressional renewal.
The last three U.S. slaughterhouses that dealt in horses closed in 2007 but the Washington Post reports horse meat is considered a delicacy in Japan and is also served in Belgium, Iceland, Norway, Slovenia and Italy, among other countries.
Schakowsky’s bill has been endorsed by the Humane Society, the Animal Welfare Institute, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , Return to Freedom and Animal Wellness Action.
Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations, said, “The vast majority of Americans oppose the brutal practice of horse slaughter,” which she called “greed-driven cruelty to our horses.”