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SAFE Act Would End International Export of Horses For Food Slaughter

Paws Up!

To  Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S. C.), Robert Menendez (D-N. J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R. I.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) for introducing the S.1706  S.A.F.E. Act, which would outlaw the international export of horses for human consumption and classify horse parts as an unsafe food additive for humans under the Food and Drug Act.

On the whole, Americans do not eat horses. Horses are revered in the United States as champions of the Old West, friends on the farm, and companions on the trail. The bond between human and horse is cherished by those of us who share our lives with horses, and envied by many among us who aren’t so lucky to have a horse of our own!

Due in part to this reverence for horses, there has not been an equine slaughterhouse in the United States for over a decade. The USDA shut down the last remaining horse slaughter “plants” and banned horse slaughterhouses in 2007.  However, about 100,000 horses are still exported from the United States every year to Mexico, Canada, and European countries where they are cruelly slaughtered and eaten. Legislators from both political parties agree that the transport of horses overseas for the purpose of human consumption has to stop. According to a recent news article, the bi-partisan Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act has once again been introduced to the 2017-18 legislative session. If passed into law, export of horses and horse parts for food to other countries would be outlawed.

Sponsors of the bill are not a bit shy to cite the historic relationship between Americans and horses as reason not to send them away to be slaughtered for food. However, much of the rationale for the bill also comes from the fact that horses are not raised as food animals here the United States, and therefore are not raised with safety controls in place that exist with animals actually raised for meat in the U.S.  Even retired race-horses whose bodies still retain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other drugs are exported for human consumption. This raises fairly obvious concerns about the safety (hence the name “SAFE” Act) of consuming horse meat sourced in the U.S.

Note: H.R. 113, also known as the S.A.F.E Act was introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-F.L.) and is the U.S. House of Representative’s version of the bill.

Take action. Contact your legislators and urge them to support the S.A.F.E. Act. Find your legislators here.

Re: Please Support the Safeguard American Food Exports S.A.F.E Act

Dear {Legislator’s Name}:

My name is {Your Name} and I am writing to express my support S. 1706/H.R. 113, also known as The S.A.F.E. Act. If passed, the law would stop the export of live horses and horse parts overseas for human consumption. It is disgusting – on many levels – that a horse in the U.S. who has lived alongside humans as a companion or athlete would at some point in his or her life, be subjected to a miserable journey abroad to be killed, ground, and eaten. As an increasingly civilized country, the United States should play no part in this. We do not ship our unwanted dogs and cats to foreign lands to be destroyed and consumed, and we should not permit this fate to befall our horse companions either. Please, I urge you to support the S.A.F.E. Act.

{Your Name} 

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