On July 20th, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted in favour of an amendment to the fiscal year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill to bar any horse slaughter plants from opening in the United States. This, in response to the House Appropriations Committee’s failure to pass a similar amendment the week before.
Horse slaughter has been banned for more than a decade in the U.S. by prohibiting the United States Department of Agriculture from conducting inspections at processing plants.
Meanwhile, wild horse advocates must wait until Congress is back in session in September to learn the fate of the country’s wild horses and burros.
It was announced in mid-July that president Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget for the Bureau of Land Management would drastically cut funding to the organization charged with protecting, managing and controlling wild horses and burros on federal public land, administered through the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.
The proposal includes an 11 per cent cut to the BLM’s overall $1.1 billion annual budget. In addition, it seeks to cut $10 million and 29 jobs from the Wild Horse and Burro management program and reduce funding for contraceptive programs, a method used to reduce herd numbers.
There is also a request to overturn a ruling that prevents the BLM from selling captured wild horses for slaughter. There are currently more than 45,000 wild horses in holding facilities across the United States. These horses are available for adoption and for sale.