Menendez, Graham, Mikulski, Collins Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prevent American Horse Slaughter, Keep Food Supply Safe

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) today re-introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act which would prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption in America, as well as the export of horses for the same purpose.

“We must do all we can to protect American consumers from serious health risks and this bill helps keep toxic horsemeat off our dining room tables,” said Sen. Menendez, a six-time Senate recipient of the Humane Society’s Humane Champion award. “American horses are treated with drugs that should not enter the food supply and our bipartisan coalition wants to prevent damage to the reputation of the entire U.S. food industry, while simultaneously standing firm against the cruel slaughter of horses.”

“Horses are not raised in the U.S. for human consumption,” said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “Preventing horse slaughter is not only an animal welfare issue, it’s a health safety issue. American consumers need to know that their food is safe, and this bill will make sure that our hamburgers aren’t made of horses.”

“The Animal Welfare Institute commends Senator Menendez for taking up the leadership on the John Rainey Memorial Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of Government and Legal Affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute. “Senator Menendez has been one of the most dedicated Senate leaders in the campaign to end horse slaughter and he now brings that commitment as sponsor of this important bill.”

“The arguments of the horse meat industry are unraveling before the eyes of the world,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “Congress must take action to prevent the spending of millions of American tax dollars on a marginal industry that peddles tainted horse meat to foreign consumers and seeks to do so at home, too. We thank Sen. Menendez for taking the lead on this critical legislation.”

Full text of the SAFE Act can be downloaded here.

The SAFE Act:

  • Amends the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem equine (horses and other members of the equidae family) parts to be an unsafe food additive or animal drug.
  • Prohibits the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption.

Companion legislation has been introduced by Frank Guinta (R-NH), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) in the House of Representatives.