Stop the Export of Horses to Slaughterhouses for Human Food

This week, Take Action Thursday urges action on a federal bill to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption.


Federal Legislation

The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, HR 961, would prohibit the sale or transport in interstate or foreign commerce of equines and equine parts intended for human consumption. Although the slaughter of horses for meat is illegal in the U.S., it is still legal to transport these animals to other countries—typically Canada and Mexico—where their slaughter is legal. Following their slaughter, the horse’s meat is then exported overseas to satisfy a demand for horse meat in Europe and Asia.

The SAFE Act focuses on the fact that, since horses in the U.S. are not raised specifically for their meat, there is a high probability that they have been exposed to or injected with drugs and chemicals that have not been approved for human safety. Because of this, a ban on the sale and transport of horse meat for human consumption is a matter of public health safety as horse meat is unsafe to eat.

The bill’s sponsors also recognize the inherent cruelty in both the slaughter and transport for the slaughter of horses, who can be confined for more than 24 hours at a time while being transported without any food, water or rest during their long journey.

According to Rep. Vern Buchanan, one of the lead sponsors of this bill, “The slaughter of horses for consumption is a barbaric practice that has no place in America.” Cosponsor Rep. Jan Schakowsky stated that, “Horses have a special place in our nation’s history, and these majestic creatures were not raised as food for humans.”

Please contact your U.S. Representative and ask them to support a ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption.


State Updates

Since last week’s issue of Take Action Thursday, another state bill has been introduced to require the adoption of healthy dogs and cats no longer being used for research, education or testing. Progress has also been made in passing a bill ending the use of animals for cosmetics safety testing.

In Michigan, HB 4496 would require any institution of higher education or any facility—whether privately or publicly owned—where laboratory research is performed, to offer any adoptable dog or cat that would otherwise be euthanized to an animal rescue organization so that the animal may be made available for adoption.   

Michigan residents, please let your state Representative know that you support this legislation.


In Illinois, SB 241 has won unanimous approval of the House Labor & Commerce Committee for legislation to make it unlawful for a manufacturer to import for profit, sell or offer for sale any cosmetics that was developed or manufactured using an animal test.

Illinois residents, please send your state Representative an urgent message asking them to vote “yes” on this bill when it reaches the House floor.



Want to do more? Visit the NAVS Advocacy Center to TAKE ACTION on behalf of animals in your state and around the country. And please make a donation today to support the advancement of humane legislation across the U.S. 


This entry was posted in News on May 2, 2019.
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