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OFFICIAL U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RESPONSE TO
Restore humane horse slaughter to improve horse welfare, stop needless & wasteful suffering & create jobs. and 1 other petition
Ensuring the Humane Treatment of Horses
UPDATE: December 13, 2011
By Dr. Elisabeth Hagen
Thank you for writing to relay your concerns regarding horse slaughtering. We appreciate your involvement in the We the People project and value your input on issues facing our country.
The humane treatment of horses reflects the values of our Nation.
Recently Congress lifted a ban prohibiting federal funding for the inspection of horses, which had prevented the slaughter of horses for human consumption for the past five years. While Congress has technically lifted the ban, USDA does not expect horse slaughter to resume in the near term as a number of Federal, state and local requirements and prohibitions remain in place. Furthermore, there have been no requests that the Department initiate the authorization process for any horse slaughter operation in the United States at this time.
While some horses continue to be exported to other countries for slaughter, USDA makes it a priority to ensure that these horses are transported and treated humanely. For example, USDA recently extended protection to horses delivered to collection points prior to export, reflecting the Administration's commitment to protecting animal welfare.
Thank you again for your input on this important issue.
Dr. Elisabeth Hagen serves as Under Secretary for Food Safety at the USDA
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