On March 12, 2013, Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013 (H.R.1094). The bill would prohibit the sale, transport, export or import of horses or horse meat for human consumption. A Senate version of this bill is expected to be introduced by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). The House bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to make it illegal for anyone to sell, transport, export or import horses or horse meat if they "know or should have known" the horses were to be slaughtered, or the horse meat was to be used for human consumption. The penalty for the first violation would be a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or up to a year in prison. Subsequent violations could result in up to three years in prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000.
The bill states that horses in the United States are treated with a number of drugs that are not approved for use in horses intended for human consumption and pose a serious health threat to humans.
This bill is different from other bills introduced in previous years that would have also prohibited the transport or sale of horses intended for human consumption. Those bills would have amended the Horse Protection Act and did not cite health concerns as the justification for the bills.
The House bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Agriculture.
If you have any questions contact the American Horse Council.