Republic of Horse

Federal Slaughter Legislation Timeline

2001: 107th Congress, 1st Session

2002: 107th Congress, 2nd Session

2003: 108th Congress, 1st Session

2004: 108th Congress, 2nd Session
2005: 109th Congress, 1st Session
  • 2/1/2005: H.R. 503, an amendment to The Horse Protection Act to ban horse slaughter and export for slaughter, introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY).
  • 6/3/2005: H.R.2744 FY 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX).
  • 6/8/2005: Amendment H.AMDT.236 to H.R.2744 offered by Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY). Rep. Sweeney, Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Jack Spratt (D-SC), Nick Rahall II (D-WV) and Jim Moran (D-VA) each spoke in support. The amendment banned USDA inspections, halting the issuance of certifications for horse meat exports and therefore stopping operations at horse slaughter facilities and preventing new facilities from opening. Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Steve King (R-IA) spoke in opposition to the amendment.
  • 6/8/2005: Sweeney-Spratt-Rahall-Whitfield Amendment H.AMDT.236 to the H.R.2744 FY 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill to prohibit the use of tax dollars to pay for inspections of horse meat was approved by House vote: 269-158.
  • 9/20/2005: The U.S. Senate approved the Ensign-Byrd Amendment to the Senate version of the FY 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill prohibiting the use of tax dollars to pay for horse meat inspections. Senate vote: 69-28.
  • 10/25/2005: S.1915 Virgie S. Arden American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, the companion bill to H.R.503, was introduced to the U.S. Senate by Sen. Ensign and Sen. Landrieu. Read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
2006: 109th Congress, 2nd Session
  • 7/13/2006: Bill sponsor Rep. Whitfield (R-KY) requested unanimous consent to refer H.R.503 to the Committee for Energy & Commerce and the Committee on Agriculture. Agreed to without objection.
  • 7/??/2006: T. Boone Pickens talked to his Representative, Joe Barton, about the bill. Barton called for a hearing in the Subcommittee for Energy & Commerce. (Time Magazine, 7/25/2006)
  • 7/25/2006: Hearing of the Subcommittee of the U.S. Committee for Energy & Commerce held re H.R.503. Discharged with no amendments and a favorable report to the House.
  • 7/27/2006: Hearing of the House Committee for Agriculture for H.R.503 held despite missed deadline to mark up the Bill. Discharged with an unfavorable report to the House. Referred to the Rules Committee for reconciliation.
  • 9/7/2006: The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 503 The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. House vote: 263-146.
  • 2006: S.1915 Virgie S. Arden American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act died in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
2007: 110th Congress, 1st Session
  • 1/17/2007: Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Nick Rahall (D-WV), and John Spratt (D-SC) reintroduced H.R.503 to prohibit slaughtering horses for human consumption.
  • 1/17/2007: Companion bill S.311 introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
  • 4/25/2007: The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved S.311 The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Roll Call vote 15 to 7.
  • 12/5/2007: Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) objected to proceeding with S.311. (Congressional Record). There were other apparent interferences (to come) and the bill died.
2008: 110th Congress, 2nd Session
  • 7/24/2008: H.R.6598 Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008 introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN). Amends Title 18.
  • 7/24/2008: H.R.6598 referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
  • 7/25/2008: H.R.6598 referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
  • 9/23/2008: H.R.6598 discharged from Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
  • 9/23/2008: H.R.6598 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee by voice vote after a majority rejected multiple poison pill amendments. Then the House Agricultural Committee gained control of H.R.6598, where it died.
2009: 111th Congress, 1st Session
  • 1/14/2009: Rep. John Conyers re-introduced his bill from the 110th Congress under the previous name H.R.503 Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009.
  • 3/16/2009: H.R.503 Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act is referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
  • 3/26/2009: Sens. Landrieu and Ensign introduced S.727 the Landrieu-Ensign Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, the companion bill to H.R.503, to the U.S. Senate.
  • 2009: Sen. Max Baucus requested, via the FY 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Act, that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study the impact that closure of slaughterhouses might have had on horse welfare, and report its findings to Congress by March 1, 2010.

2010: 111th Congress, 2nd Session

2011: 112th Congress, 1st Session

  • 9/19/2011: H.R.2966 American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 introduced by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
  • 5/30/2011: Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) offered an amendment to continue to exclude funding for the USDA inspections required to market horse meat, H.R.2112 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011.
  • 6/9/2011: S.1176 American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
  • 6/16/2011: House of Representatives passed H.R.2112, the 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Act, with the Moran Amendment included.
  • 6/22/2011: The delayed GAO report was released. It had originally been scheduled for completion by March 1, 2010.
  • ...: Senate passed H.R.2112 with no amendment to exclude horse slaughterhouse inspection funding.
  • ...: Sen. Blunt (R-MO) , Sen. Kohl (D-WI) and Rep. Kingston (R-GA) of the Conference Committee removed the Moran amendment and H.R.2112 was passed without it, so that USDA inspections of slaughterhouses are no longer excluded from funding, and slaughtering horses commercially for human consumption is again possible in the United States.
  • 11/17/2011: House and Senate approved H.R.2112 Conference Committee report.

Active Federal laws

Horse Protection Act (HPA) - Passed in 1970, protects Tennessee Walking Horses from "soring", a cruel practice intended to exaggerate the horse's gait.