Representative Jim Moran


Congress United States

 Eighth District of Virginia


For Immediate Release:

 Contact: Austin Durrer

September 7, 2006






Ban on Horse Slaughter Passes House

Moran Helps Lead Successful Effort to Protect an American Icon 

Washington, D.C., September 7th – Congressman Jim Moran, Virginia Democrat, helped lead today’s effort in the House of Representatives to ban horse slaughter, serving as a whip for the legislation’s supporters.   The bill, the “American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act” (H.R. 503) bans horse slaughter for consumption in the U.S. and passed by a 263 to 146 vote.

“Each! year, o ver 90,000 horses in the U.S. are sent to slaughter so that expensive restaurants in Italy, France, Belgium and Japan can offer what their customers consider a delicacy,” said Moran.  “This inhumane practice must stop.  The equine reserves a special place in hearts of the American people as a majestic creature, symbolizing the American Wes t.  Most Americans are repulsed at the thought of eating horse meat. To allow this practice to continue is simply un-American.”

Currently, only three horse slaughter houses operate in the U.S.   They are each foreign owned and exist to feed the lucrative foreign market for horse flesh.   According to the USDA, more than 91,000 American horses were slaughtered in the U.S. in 2005. 

Horses end up in slaughter houses in a number of ways.  Some are stolen for profit.  Others end up in the hands of so-called “killer buyers.” These are individuals who prey on unsuspecting people selling their horse at livestock auctions, believing the animal is being sent to a responsible owner.  These merchants of stolen and purchased horses sell to the slaughter house, often transporting the animals inhumanely, crammed into trucks designed for cattle or pigs, giving them little or no food, water or rest.  Many animals are injured or die during transport.  Once arriving at the slaughter house, the rendering process is often carried out improperly and the animal is still alive when it is hoisted by its hind legs and has its throat slit.

Public opinion in the U.S. is decidedly against horse slaughter with 68 percent opposed in the most recent polls.   H.R. 503 has over 200 cosponsors.   The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) strongly backed its passage.