HORSE SLAUGHTER BILL REVISED
Congressman John Sweeney (R-NY) has re-introduced federal legislation to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption...American Horse Council
"...Although the bill (H.R. 503) is drafted differently than the legislation introduced in the last Congress, it provides for the same result, the prohibition of the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
The bill has fifteen original co-sponsors, including Representatives Mary Bono (R-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), Gene Green (D-TX), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), John Spratt (D-SC), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Christopher Cox (R-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), James Moran (D-VA), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Edolphus Towns (D-NY).
The bill introduced in the last Congress added a new section to the U.S. Code, rather than amending an existing law.
The new bill would amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA), which was enacted in 1970 to prohibit the showing, sale, or transporting for show or sale, of horses that have been subjected to a painful process known as “soring” to accentuate their gait.
The Animal & Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture enforces the HPA.
The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Last year’s legislation was referred to the House Agriculture Committee.
The legislation provides that Congress finds, among other things, that 'Horses and other equines are domestic animals that are used primarily for recreation, pleasure, and sport' and that the 'shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation in intrastate commerce of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, adversely affect and burden interstate and foreign commerce.'
Prohibitions and Penalties in the Bill Specifically, the bill amends the HPA 'to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines for slaughter for human consumption.'
Such activities would be made a violation of the HPA and subject any person who knowingly violates the Act to penalties of up to $3000 and/or one year in jail for the first offence and up to $5000 and/or two years in jail for a second offence.
An offender may also be subject to civil penalties of $2000 for each violation.
The legislation also gives the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to 'detain for examination, testing, or the taking of evidence' any horse which the Secretary has 'probable cause to believe is being shipped, transported, moved, delivered, received, possessed, purchased, sold, or donated in violation of' the prohibitions.
The bill authorizes $5 million for enforcement of the Act.
Those that would like to register their thoughts on the bill with their member of Congress can contact them at www.visi.com/juan/congress."