Horse Slaughter Legislative Timeline 2009

State and Federal Legislation
111th U.S. Congress (2009—2010)

DATE VENUE ACTIVITY RESULT
January 2009 111th Congress 1st Session Jan 14: Rep. John Conyers re-introduces his bill from the 110th Congress, this time under familiar horse slaughter bill number, H.R. 503. Called the “Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act,” it aims to end the export of horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada. Referred to the Judiciary Committee. Expected to move quickly through the House. See Thomas.gov for further information.
January 2009 New York Assemblywoman Deborah Glick re-introduces bill banning horse slaughter for human consumption, A3736. Referred to Agriculture Cmte. A3736 stalled and finally died in the Agricultural Committee, held up there AGAIN by its pro-slaughter Chairman, William MaGee, a “meat-industry” politician. See “Magee too Cozy with New York Farm Bureau
January 2009 Minnesota Jan 22: SF 133 is introduced urging Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses. Referred to Agriculture and Veterans Cmte.
January 2009 Arizona Jan 29: First reading of S.C.M. 1001 urging US Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses. Bill advances.
February 2009 North Dakota Feb 06: A legislative committee unanimously approves a state study of a horse slaughter plant in North Dakota due to the “Unwanted Horse” dilemma. Study delays planned legislation to approve opening horse slaughter plant.
February 2009 Utah Feb 12: H.J.R. 7, a nonbinding resolution to allow the transport of horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter passes the Utah Senate. Vote 19-8 in favor.
February 2009 Tennessee Feb 12: H.B. 1428 a pro-slaughter bill sponsored by Frank Niceley is filed in the Tennessee legislature. New bill at the State level to return horse slaughter to US soil.
February 2009 South Dakota Feb 03/05: S.C.R. 2 resolution opposing H.R. 503 passes full Senate on 02/05 and full House on 05/05 S. Dakota joins other states opposing federal bill H.R. 503.
February 2009 Utah Feb 12: H.J.R. 7 resolution opposing H.R. 503 passes full Senate. Utah joins other states opposing federal bill H.R. 503. Sent to Lieutenant Governor for approval.
February 2009 North Dakota Feb 17: S.C.R. 4021 resolution opposing H.R. 503 passes full Senate and is referred to House Agriculture Committee. Schedules hearing for March 5, 2009. N. Dakota joins other states opposing federal bill H.R. 503.
February 2009 Kansas Feb 17: H.C.R 5004, a Concurrent Resolution by Agriculture and Natural Resources urging Congress to oppose federal legislation interfering with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses to be adopted. Kansas joins other states opposing federal bill H.R. 503.
February 2009 Illinois Feb 24: The Illinois House agriculture committee approves legislation to overturn H.B. 1711, banning horse slaughter, aimed at the time to shut down the U.S.’s only horse slaughtering plant, Cavel International, in DeKalb. Voted 11-2 in favor. Bill advances.
February 2009 Wyoming Feb 26: H.J.R. opposing H.R. 503 passes full Senate. Signed by Governor on March 03, 2009. Wyoming joins other states opposing federal bill H.R. 503.
March 2009 Wyoming Mar 3: H.J.R. 8 sponsored by Rep. Sue Wallis is signed by the Governor of Wyoming. H.J.R 8 urges Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses. Vote 25-5 in favor.
March 2009 Idaho March 9: The Idaho House State Affairs Committee agrees to debate a resolution urging Congress to oppose bill H.R. 503 that would prohibit states’ ability to direct the transport or processing of horses. Idaho joins other states opposing federal bill H.R. 503.
March 2009 Minnesota Mar 11: H.F. 797/S.F. 755 is a bill that if becomes law, would define horses as livestock and raising, breeding, training and boarding horses as agricultural activities. The bills also say horses can be used for their meat, hides and by-products. Referred by Chair to Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veteran Affairs Finance Division.
March 2009 New York Mar 12: A3736/S 3178 prohibiting the slaughter of horses for human consumption is referred by the senate to Consumer Protection. State bill banning horse slaughter introduced in New York.
March 2009 111th Congress 1st Session Mar 16: H.R. 503, Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act is referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Bill advances.
March 2009 Idaho Mar 24: Bill H.J.M 0005, encouraging the president and Congress to remove the prohibition of horse slaughter in order for these animals to be humanely handled is introduced to the Senate and first reading to Agricultural affairs State bill returning horse slaugher to U.S. soil introduced in Idaho.
March 2009 Montana March 19: The Montana State Senate narrowly passes bill HB 418 that would make it easier for a person to start a horse slaughter or processing facility in the state. Vote 27-23 in favor.
March 2009 111th Congress 1st Session March 26: S. 727. Senators Landreiu and Ensign introduce companion bill to H.R. 503 ban horse slaughter in the United States Senate, called the Landrieu-Ensign “Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act”. Companion bill to H.R. 503 introduced.
April 2009 Illinois Apr 01: Illinois House rejects a push to overturn the state’s ban on slaughtering horses for meat (H.B. 1711). Measure was failing 50-67 when the sponsor halted the vote.
April 2009 Arkansas Apr 02; H.C.R. 1004 in support of horse processing facilities passes the House, read twice by Senate, is correctly enrolled and ordered transmitted to the Governor’s office. State bill returning horse slaugher to U.S. soil passes House and Senate in Arkansas.
April 2009 Illinois Apr 03: H.B. 583, sponsored by Rep. Jim Sacia repealing the 2007 state law banning horse slaughter, is re-referred to the Rules Committee Bill advances.
April 2009 Montana April 03; Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s amendment vetos Bill H.B. 418’s two key provisions for discouraging lawsuits. This measure would give the horse slaughter industry special protections and eliminate citizens’ right to appeal projects over environmental concerns. The sponsor vows to challenge the amendments.
April 2009 North Dakota North Dakota lawmakers have agreed to approve Bill H.B. 1496. $50,000 to be spent on a study of whether a horse slaughterhouse can be built in the state. Vote 86-5 in favor.
April 2009 Montana April 15: The Montana Legislature rejects the governor’s amendments to bill H.B. 418 and returned it to him unchanged. Senate is 44-5 in favor of rejecting the bill. Schweitzer has 10 days to sign or veto the measure. If he does neither, it automatically becomes law. See below.
May 2009 Montana May 01: Bill H.B. 418 to allow investor-owned horse slaughterhouses in Montana, and limit legal action against them, becomes law. Gov. Brian Schweitzer allows it to lapse into law by taking no action Bill becomes law.
May 2009 Missouri May 05: S.C.R 8, sponsored by Wes Shoemyer, is adopted by the House. This bill urges U.S. Congress to support the continuation of horse processing in the United States, offer incentives to help create horse processing plants throughout the country, and oppose any legislation introduced in the new session of Congress that would restrict horse processing. Missouri joins other states opposing federal bill H.R. 503.
May 2009 Tennessee May 05: H.B. 1428/S.B 1898 deferred in Agricultural Committee to May 12, 2009 No advancement.
July 2009 111th Congress 1st Session Jul 17: H.R. 1018, Restore Our American Mustangs Act (ROAM Act) passes in the House. Amends the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to revise provisions concerning their management. Vote 239-185 in favor. See Roll Call for vote results. Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (July 20th).
July 2009 Oregon Ranchers, Native Americans and others push for the renewed slaughter of horses in the U.S. — possibly starting in Oregon. Inconclusive.
October 2009 Montana Ed Butcher, sponsor of H.B. 418 in Montana that promotes construction of a horse slaughter plant, courts Chinese investors after European firms show a lack of interest in the venture. Inconclusive.
November 2009 111th Congress 1st Session Two years after the last U.S. horse slaughter plant ceased operations, the Federal Government moves to review what impact the closures of horse slaughter plants have had on horse welfare. Congress requests the GAO to study the issue and report its findings by March 1, 2010.
December 2009 111th Congress 1st Session 1st Session adjourns. Congress reconvenes in January to start the 2nd Session. Pending legislation carries forward.

Compiled by Jane Allin

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