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Vern Buchanan: Time to Stop Exporting Horses Headed to Slaughterhouses for Human Consumption

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U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., are championing a proposal to “permanently ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption” and “prohibit the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses to be sold overseas.”

Buchanan introduced the “Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act” last week with Schakowsky as the co-sponsor.

“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that has no place in America,” Buchanan said. “As co-chairman of the Animal Protection Caucus, I look forward to continuing to lead the effort with Congresswoman Schakowsky to protect these majestic creatures.”

“Horses have a special place in our nation’s history and in many Americans’ hearts. They embody the spirit of America, and it is time to end the brutal and dangerous practice of slaughtering these creatures for human consumption. I have championed this issue for many years, and I am so proud to partner with Congressman Vern Buchanan to reintroduce the SAFE Act once again. Our bipartisan bill would amend the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 to prohibit the slaughter of equines for human consumption. Horses are not raised for human consumption. As a proud animal lover, we owe it to our horse companions to protect their welfare,” said Schakowsky.

“In 2022, approximately 20,000 American horses were exported to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses, according to the Animal Welfare Institute. Those horses are butchered and then transported overseas for consumption in Japan, Italy and other countries,” Buchanan’s office noted.

The Humane Society Legislative Fund, the ASPCA, Return to Freedom and the Animal Welfare Institute are backing the proposal.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. Over in the U.S. Senate, the proposal is being championed by U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Bob Menendez.

In 2020, Buchanan and the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., continued their efforts to warn about live animal markets and events in China, including the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. They urged then President Donald Trump to call for China to ban live animal markets. Also that eyar, the two congressmen teamed up with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oreg., to introduce a resolution “calling on all nations to end their dog and cat meat trade and to enforce existing laws against the trade.”

In 2016, Buchanan brought out the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act which bans exporting horses to Mexican slaughterhouses. Buchanan has also led the charge on Capitol Hill to stop domestic slaughterhouses from creating horse meat for human consumption. Back in December 2018, Trump signed a proposal from Buchanan and Hastings banning the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption as part of the Farm Bill. In 2019, Buchanan and then U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., brought out the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act.” Buchanan is one of the leaders of the Animal Rights Caucus.


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

    View all posts

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