State and Federal Legislation
112th U.S. Congress (2011—2012)
|January 23, 2012||US SUPREME COURT||Decision handed down on government oversight regarding horse slaughter. States may enact laws banning the slaughter of horses but cannot govern how animals are processed and handled at federally-regulated slaughterhouses.||If the processing of horse meat for human consumption is to be resumed in any State where it is still legal under State law, FMIA (Federal Meat Inspection Act) regulations (and not any regulations that the States may attempt to promulgate) will govern how horses are handled and processed in those States. See article by Alison Rowe, specialist in Equine Law.|
|March 3, 2012||Oregon||Following the enactment the new fiscal year’s Department of Agriculture Appropriations bill – that included the successful removal of historic language banning horse meat inspections necessary for its export for human consumption – the United Horsemen’s group makes plans to open horse slaughter facility in Hermiston, Oregon.||Community of Hermiston takes aggressive stand against the proposition.|
|May 24, 2012||New Jersey State Assembly||A-2023 passes the NJ State Assembly by a vote of 72-3. The Bill was originally sponsored by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-12).||The Bill which prohibits the in-state slaughter of horses, transportation of horses to slaughter and the sale of horse meat for human consumption in New Jersey, moves forward.|
|June 15, 2012||US Congress — Appropriations Committee||The Moran Amendment to the 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill — introduced by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va) earlier this month to block funding to the USDA for horse slaughter facility inspections — survives the passing of the full Appropriations Committee intact.||Moves to the US House and Senate for a vote.|
|June 19, 2012||US House, US Senate||The Moran Amendment to the 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill passes the US House and Senate. The Amendment blocks federal funding for USDA inspections necessary to slaughter horses and export their meat. Moran’s amendment reinstates the five-year ban on horse slaughter on US soil from 2006-2011.||Sent to the President for signing into law.|
|June 25, 2012||New Jersey State Legislature||Senate bill S 1976, sponsored by Senator Raymond J. Lesniak (D-20), was substituted by A2023, the identical bill that already passed State Assembly (See May 24, 2012). The Bill passed the NJ State Senate 35-4.||The Bill which prohibits the in-state slaughter of horses, transportation of horses to slaughter and the sale of horse meat for human consumption in the State of New Jersey, moves on to its final stop at Gov. Christie’s desk for signing into law.|
|July 10, 2012||Texas State Legislature||– The Texas State Senate Committee on Agricultural and Rural Affairs met to hear testimony on the economic impact of the closure of Texas horse slaughter plants. Some believe that a repeal of Chapter 149 could be on the table next legislative session.||Unless Chapter 149 is repealed or revised, horse slaughter remains illegal in Texas — though it can ostensibly be carried out in other US jurisdictions barring the passage of any federal law that directly or indirectly prohibits it.|
|August 2012||New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming||Since last year, new horse slaughterhouses have been proposed in New Mexico, Missouri and Oregon, and laws that would permit them to be built more easily have been proposed in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.||Potential return of horse slaughter on US soil|
|September 21, 2012||New Jersey Governor’s Office||Governor Chris Christie signs anti horse slaughter bill A-2023 into law. The bill passed the State Assembly and Senate in May and June respectively.||Success. The in-state slaughter of horses, transportation of horses to slaughter and the sale of horse meat for human consumption in the State of New Jersey.|
|December 2012||USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS)||Nature Valley Meats in New Mexico sues USDA over a lack of action on a request for inspections that would clear the way for the company to resume domestic horse slaughterhouse operations.
Rick de los Santos, owner of Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, NM also files a defamation lawsuit against the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, and Animal Protection of New Mexico.
|December 2012||US Senate||American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176)||Ends with 26 Co-Sponsors. Originally introduced 6/9/2011. Referred to Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. No other activity. Dies in Committee.|
|December 2012||US House||American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (HR 2966)||Ends 165 Co-Sponsors. Originally introduced 9/19/2011. Referred to Agriculture Committee. Referred to Energy and Commerce Committee, who subsequently referred it to the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry 10/4/2011. No other activity. Dies in Committee.|
Contributors: Jane Allin, Vivian Farrell