Senate Committee Passes Anti-Slaughter Budget Amendment

The amendment would prevent the USDA from using any of its 2017 budget revenue to pay for horsemeat inspections.

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The U.S. Senate’s Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment that would prevent the USDA from using any of its 2017 budget revenue to pay personnel to conduct horsemeat inspections.

Previously, USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) personnel carried out horsemeat inspections at U.S. horse processing plants. In 2007, however, Congress voted to strip the USDA of funds for horsemeat inspections at the last two domestic equine processing plants. The combination of legislation and local court rulings later closed both of those plants.

Federal funding bills continued to include language denying the USDA of funding for horsemeat inspections until 2011, when Congress passed a 2012 appropriations bill that failed to contain language specifically forbidding the USDA from using federal dollars to fund horse slaughter plant inspections. Shortly after that bill became law, horse processing plants were proposed in several states but were never established.

On May 19, the Senate’s Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that strips the FSIS from paying personnel to inspect horsemeat. The amendment was sponsored by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Christopher Coons (D-DE)

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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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