Budget Bill Nixes Horse Slaughter, Boosts HPA Enforcement

The 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill will impact the horse industry in several ways.
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The 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill will impact the horse industry in several ways. | Photo: iStock

Horse processing plants will remain shuttered, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cannot sell wild horses without reservation, and the USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) will receive additional funds to enforce the Horse Protection Act (HPA) under the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law on March 23.

Under the $1.3 billion measure, the USDA cannot use any of its funds to conduct horsemeat inspections processing plants, effectively preventing U.S. horse processing plant development.

The spending bill also forbids the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) BLM from selling wild horses and burros without reservation—that is, to any buyer—but allows the agency to transfer equids removed from the range to other federal state or local agencies to be sued as work animals

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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