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Horse protection groups urge US government to pass bill to stop slaughter of US horses

AWA News:

WASHINGTON, DC – A coalition of horse advocacy groups representing supporters across the United States have come together to urge members of Congress to bring a grassroots bill to the House floor for a vote.

Bill (HR 3355/S. 2732), also known as Save America’s Forgotten Equines (or SAFE) Lawprevents the transport of horses, mules, and donkeys across national borders for the purpose of slaughtering them for their meat or hides, and would permanently ban the slaughter of horses on US soil.

The groups vary from horse racing watchdogs to wild horse protection and rescue/sanctuary operations, but the one thing they have in common is outrage at the tens of thousands of American equines being shipped to horrific deaths in foreign slaughterhouses.

Because of their iconic status in American society and the vital role they have played in our nation’s history and culture, Americans strongly oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. While those who profit from their slaughter refer to horses as “livestock,” most Americans, including horse owners, view horses, donkeys, and mules as indispensable partners in work, play, and sport.

A 2021 survey by Advocates for Wild Equines showed staggering support for the SAFE ACT: 97% of respondents backed passing the law, with 98% backing a permanent ban on slaughter horses in the United States as well as the transportation of equines to be slaughtered for any purpose (including food, dog food, skin products, etc.).

In light of this overwhelming public opinion and love for the horse, horse welfare organizations are calling on Congress to simply carry out the will of the majority of the nation’s citizens.


The SAFE Act has a bipartisan slate of supporters in both houses of Congress, with a majority of House members signing on as co-sponsors. According to the custom of the House, with a majority in favour, the bill is likely to be put to a vote before the full House. With the 117e Congress ends in just a few weeks, however, the window of opportunity for a vote is rapidly shrinking. Meanwhile, profiteers from the horse slaughter industry continue to seize equine animals, including retired racehorses, show horses and pets for children, during auctions of slaughter and slaughter pens to be shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter and consumption by foreign consumers.

“Until a ban is in place, every American horse, wild and domestic, is at risk of falling into the hands of the predatory horse slaughter industry,” said Scott Beckstead, campaigns director for Animal welfare action and the Center for a Human Economy.

“We cannot call ourselves a civilized nation if we still allow such cruelty to these beloved horses,” said Clare Staples, founder of Skydog Sanctuaryrefuge and equine refuge on the front line of the fight against the slaughter of horses.

Ginger Fedak, Wild Horse and Donkey Campaign Director for In defense of animalssaid, “It’s time to heed the will of the American people and bring this well-sponsored, bipartisan bill to the full House for a vote.”

“All equines suffer terribly during transport and slaughter,” said Lorna Torrey-Palermo, founder of Defenders of wild equines. “There is no conceivable reason for this barbaric practice to continue.”

“At 21st century, it is appalling that we still allow American equines to be trucked across our borders to face an agonizing death,” said Lisa Friday, director of communications for The Cloud Foundation. “The time has come to stop this cruel trade.”


Wild Equine Defenders (A*W*E) is a grassroots group of concerned citizens who strongly oppose the cruel and inhumane raids of wild horses and donkeys on our public lands. Our lobby group raises money each month to pay Washington, DC lobbyists who advocate for legislation that stops roundups, protects individual horses and burros, and preserves our beautiful wild equine herds.

Animal welfare action is a Washington, DC-based 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to help animals by promoting legal standards prohibiting cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of pets, farm animals and wildlife. We advocate for policies to end dog and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to combat factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we encourage good public policies and work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we need to elect good legislators, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our problems and which don’t. We believe that helping animals helps us all.

The Center for a Human Economy is a non-profit organization that aims to influence the conduct of business to forge a humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal welfare movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and environmental degradation and embrace innovation as a means to eliminate both .

The Cloud Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been at the forefront of wild horse advocacy since its inception in 2005. TCF was founded by Emmy-winning filmmaker Ginger Kathrens, creator of three acclaimed documentaries from the PBS Nature series that have followed nature the stallion Cloud throughout his life. Dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and donkeys on our public lands, the Cloud Foundation advocates for the protection of natural behaviors of wild equines, the repatriation of wild horses to zeroed herd areas, and an equal distribution forage in herd areas designated by Congress.

In defense of animals is an international animal welfare organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people and the environment through education and campaigning, and hands-on rescue facilities in India, in South Korea and rural Mississippi.

Skydog Sanctuary aims to raise awareness of the issues of wild mustangs and burros by highlighting the inherent and historical value of these American icons. Here, wild mustangs and burros, which may not be well suited to life in captivity or have suffered abuse and trauma, are allowed to live their lives as nature intended, in a “wild” environment. safe and open, free from the demands of humanity.