- By Norman Fine
Legislation to permanently ban horse slaughter in the United States has been introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators. The proposed bill would also ban the transportation of horses for slaughter. Congress effectively ended all horse slaughter in the country about ten years ago, but the General Accounting Office (GAO) reported that horse welfare suffered as a result.
The new bill―Save America's Forgotten Equines (SAFE)―is sponsored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island. Senator Whitehouse, for one, is certainly knowledgeable about equine issues. His father, Charles, a former ambassador, served as Master of the Orange County Hounds (VA) after retiring from foreign service.
While the bill is crafted to save horses' lives, the real question is will it solve the underlying problem of unwanted horses? Or will those horses’ lives become even more tragic because humane euthanasia is denied? Without funding as a part of this or any such bill, I'm afraid so.