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August 09, 2006   Email to Friend 

BAN OF HORSE SLAUGHTER WOULD CARRY BIG PRICE TAG
Jeff Helms
(334) 613-4212
August 09, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Legislation has been introduced by Rep. Whitfield (R-Ky.) that would prohibit slaughter of horses. H.R. 503 sets a dangerous precedent by banning slaughter of horses for reasons other than food safety or public health, said Federation National Affairs Director Keith Gray.

This legislation may be voted upon in the House this month. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) are sponsors of this legislation. The Alabama Farmers Federation has policy opposing this legislation and interested members should contact their congressional representative to voice their opposition.

Currently about 60,000 of the 70,000-80,000 horses that have been abandoned or neglected move through USDA-regulated and inspected processing facilities each year, and are hauled in trucks regulated by USDA's humane transport rules, and are euthanized under the regulations of the Federal Humane Slaughter Act. In contrast, there are no humane standards governing the care of horses which end up in so-called rescue or retirement facilities, and nothing in this legislation would address that.

"Banning the slaughter of neglected or abandoned horses would further compromise their welfare while creating a huge cost to the taxpayer if this legislation is enacted," Gray said. "For instance, the average adoption facility in the U.S. has 30 animals, and if this legislation is enacted, the U.S. would need an additional 2,700 facilities according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

"Furthermore, the cost of caring for these abandoned horses would be about $1,900 per year, not including veterinary services, and it would cost about $127 million to properly care for these animals."

Should this legislation become law, there is no user-fee or any other method for these costs to be paid by the federal government or anyone else, Gray said.

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE


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