Congressman Urges a Fair, Balanced Report on Horse Processing Ban

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) recently sent a letter to the Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) urging the agency to issue its overdue report on the 2007 horse processing ban, specifically regarding the ban’s effects on the welfare of horses and the farm economy.

“The economic impact of the horse processing ban is harmful to people across the Third District,” Smith said. “Giving processing plants the opportunity to reopen at absolutely no cost to taxpayers would re-establish a multi-billion dollar, revenue-generating, jobs-creating industry and strengthen a struggling horse industry. A great deal of misinformation remains about responsible horse management, so a fair and balanced report from the GAO will provide the opportunity to educate Members of Congress about the adverse impact of this ban before any further votes are taken on the issue.”

Hear more from Congressman Smith in this audio report.

The study was originally requested more than a year and a half ago by the Senate Appropriations Committee in the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

While Farm Bureau members are encouraged to show support for his actions, Congressman Smith communicates what’s necessary to keep the Bill moving.

You can find a link to the GAO report here.

To find out more about how you can be involved in Farm Bureau activities, visit And while there, be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

2 responses to “Congressman Urges a Fair, Balanced Report on Horse Processing Ban

  1. The horse slaughter plants in the US are NOT going to reopen. Period. One of the GAO’s main recommendations was to completely ban horse slaughter in this country. There is a bill in the Senate now that will do just that: The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011. Why?

    For one thing, horse slaughter is unacceptably cruel. Cattle trucks and cattle slaughter plants are totally unsuitable for horses. Horses are creatures of flight and have a hair-trigger response.
    Captive bolt study:
    Double Deckers And Horses:
    Investigation Underscored USDA Documented Cruelty:
    A Look At The Horrors of Horse Slaughter:

    Not only that, American horses are not considered food animals and are not raised under the strict controls from birth to slaughter as are traditional food animals. As a result, they are repeatedly exposed to substances that are strictly and totally banned in food animals. Phenylbutazone (bute) is only the most notorious. There are many other widely used products – both prescription and over-the-counter – that bear the warning: Not for use in horses intended for food purposes. Heck, even fly spray is banned in food animals!
    Food And Toxicology Report:
    Horse Meat Is Deadly To Humans:

    And finally:
    The True Unintended Consequences of Horse Slaughter:

    The thing that really puzzles me is why in the world farmers would want the return of horse slaughter! It’s a shady, predatory business that sends it’s profits along with it’s product overseas. It causes extremely serious pollution issues and the plants are hell to live close to. Horse slaughter has nothing at all to do with Agriculture – not even animal agriculture. I eat beef along with most of the others that fought this battle with me. I own horses and I’m sick of worrying about their being stolen for slaughter. This has happened to a number of my friends, and we are tired of this ever present threat of the slaughter of an animal WE don’t even eat in this country!

    People like one Sue Wallis and her ilk like scare tactics and blame all of this on the “animal rights activists,” and I’m sure the AR people would love to take the credit. Fact is, they had precious little to do with it. It was US, horse welfare advocates, who love horses for something besides how much money we can squeeze out of them.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments regarding the topic of horse slaughter. While we appreciate your comments, our organization simply shares has a different view on this issue. As you point out, horse meat may not be a common protein of choice for American consumers, it is however, a protein source consumed in other countries. While we recognize there are many different views of the role of horses in society, our membership believes the role of horses as a protein source (like other livestock) is one that should continued to be recognized if there is demand for such product, as is the case for horse meat in foreign markets. For that reason and others, our membership supports the reinstatement of horse processing in the U.S.

      Again we appreciate your comments, but simply share a different perspective on this issue.

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