A vote by the House Appropriations Committee on July 12 might lay groundwork to bring horse slaughter and processing of horse meat back to the U.S. To date, there is no horse slaughtering facility in the U.S., but horses are transported routinely to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered.
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) pushed to renew what was effectively a ban on the practice, but was defeated in a 27-25 vote by the committee.
The Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted narrowly to give the green light for the reopening of horse slaughter plants in the U.S. There were 27 members of Congress who voted against the bipartisan amendment offered by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., and Charlie Dent, R-Pa., to bar horse slaughter operations in the U.S., and 25 who supported it. All but one democrat on the committee voted to oppose horse slaughter, while 26 of 30 republicans favored it.
Some of the public officials commented that essentially we might as well slaughter horses in the U.S., rather than inhumanly transport them to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered. And indeed the way which many of these horses are treated on their way to slaughter is horrifying. I won’t even post the graphic images here.
That is the most ignorant argument, in my opinion. Let’s stop transporting horses altogether, or, at the very least, transport them humanely. But, then the problem is that the overpopulation of horses in the U.S. exists, and there appears to be an easy and humane solution.
As Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., noted in a public statement, this battle is not over. If House leaders bring the agriculture spending bill to the floor, our congressional allies may be able to offer the amendment there and win when all House lawmakers have a chance to vote on the issue. And, if even that doesn’t happen, horse slaughter defund amendment could occur in the Senate, which would offer a chance to prevail when the final bill is negotiated and sent to President Trump.
This is how lawmakers voted on the amendment to protect horses:
Peter Aguilar, D-Calif.-31, Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.-2, Matt Cartwright, D-Pa.-17, Katherine Clark, D-Mass.-5, Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.-3, Charlie Dent, R- Pa.-15, David Joyce, R-Ohio-14, Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio-9, Derek Kilmer, D-Wash.-6, Barbara Lee, D-Calif.-13, Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.-17, Betty McCollum, D-Minn.-4, Grace Meng, D-N.Y.-6, Chellie Pingree, D-Maine-1, Mark Pocan, D-Wis.-2, David Price, D-N.C.-4, Mike Quigley, D-Ill.-5, Tom Rooney, R-Fla.-17, Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.-40, Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.-2, Tim Ryan, D-Ohio-13, José Serrano, D-N.Y.-15, Peter Visclosky, D-Ind.-1, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.-23, and Kevin Yoder, R-Kan.-3
Robert Aderhold, R-Ala.-4, Mark Amodie, R-Nev.-2, Ken Calvert, R-Calif.-42, John Carter, R-Texas-31, Tom Cole, R-Okla.-4, Henry Cuellar, D-Texas-28, John Abney Culberson, R-Texas-7, Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.-25, Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.-3, Jeff Fortenberry, R-Nev.-1, Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.-11, Kay Granger, R-Texas-12, Tom Graves, R-Ga.-14, Andy Harris, R-Md.-1, Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.-3, Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va.-3, John Moolenaar, R-Mich.-4, Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.-4, Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.-4, Martha Roby, R-Ala.-2, Harold Rogers, R-Ky.-5, Michael Simpson, R-Idaho-2, Chris Stewart, R-Utah-2, Scott Taylor, R-Va.-2, David Valadao, R-Calif.-21, Steve Womack, R-Ark.-3, and David Young, R-Iowa-3