May 31, 2013
Dear Ms. Stewart,
Thank you for contacting me regarding legislation concerning the slaughter of horses for human consumption. I appreciate knowing your thoughts and concerns on this important issue.
Congress barred federal inspection of slaughtered horses between 2006 to 2011; the ban was lifted in 2012 as part of H.R. 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for that year (P.L. 112-55). Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, NM, is seeking to become the first operating horse slaughterhouse since the ban was lifted. On October 19, 2012, Valley Meat filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), alleging that USDA was not responding to Valley Meats' application. That lawsuit is pending. However, recent news reports suggest that the USDA is close to making its decision on the application.
I do not support the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
Senator Mary Landrieu (LA) introduced S. 541, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which would declare the consumption of horse meat as unsafe and outlaw the sale and transport of horses or horse meat for processing for human consumption. The SAFE Act was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). You will be pleased to know that I am a cosponsor of this legislation.
You will be pleased to know that as a member of the United States House of Representatives, I was a cosponsor of H.R. 2966, The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, which would have prohibited the transportation of horses to slaughter for human consumption. Although I am not a member of the Senate HELP Committee, please rest assured I support preventing the transport or slaughter of horses for human consumption.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I hope you will continue keeping me informed of the issues important to you.
For more information, please visit my website, http://heinrich.senate.gov.
United States Senator
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