The Horse Slaughter Bill
Senator Feinstein (CA) has come forward with a draft of a bill that is worthy of our support. This is a good bill, that will ensure a better future for our American horses!
Enforcement will be in the hands of the police. The captive bolt will be recognized for the cruel device that it is.
Essential in the development and success of our nation, horses have helped fight our wars and build our nation. They are living symbols of our culture and heritage. To this day, horses continue to provide us with companionship, recreation, entertainment, sport and hard labor.
We ask that you take a moment and write your local elected officials and ask that they support American horses by becoming a cosponsor of Feinstein's Horse Slaughter Bill to prohibit the slaughter of American horses for human consumption.
The horses truly deserve our protection!
To find out who your local elected officials are, please visit : Congress.org
HORSE SLAUGHTER BILL
DISCUSSION DRAFT S.L.C.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mr. KERRY) introduced the following bill;
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on (____)
To prevent the slaughter of horses in and from the United States for human consumption by prohibiting the slaughter of horses for human consumption and by prohibiting the trade and transport of horseflesh and live horses intended for human consumption, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
Congress finds that—
horses have played a significant role in the history and culture of the United States;
horses in the United States are not raised for food or fiber;
as a nonfood and recreational animal, horses should be protected from slaughter for human consumption;
the foreign-owned horse slaughter industry has slaughtered and exported for human consumption over 3,000,000 American horses in the last 2 decades;
(A) approximately 55,000 American horses are slaughtered for human consumption annually in the United States by foreign-owned slaughterhouses; and
(B) tens of thousands of live horses are exported from the United States annually for slaughter for human consumption;
horses slaughtered for human consumption in foreign-owned plants in the United States have often been hauled several thousand miles over several days, contrary to acceptable nonslaughter standards for water, food, and rest;
(A) many horses sent to be slaughtered for human consumption are young, healthy animals;
(B) other horses are old, sick, blind, crippled, and in otherwise poor condition and are unfit to withstand the rigors of long travel; and
(C) horses sent to be slaughtered for human consumption are often—
(i) shipped on crowded double-deck trucks designed for shorter-necked species such as pigs, cattle, and sheep; and
(ii) forced to travel in a bent position, which can result in suffering, injury, and death;
(A) horses killed at foreign-owned slaughter-houses are not killed by the preferable method of chemical euthanasia but instead often endure repeated blows to the head with stunning equipment that often does not render the animals unconscious; and
(B) some horses proceed still conscious through the remaining stages of slaughter for human consumption, consisting of being bled out and dismembered;
because horses in the United States are not food animals, veterinarians commonly prescribe and treat horses with potent drugs that may reside in the horseflesh and be dangerous when consumed by humans; because of the lack of disclosure on the part of the agents and dealers for foreign-owned slaughterhouses—
(A) horses are often acquired and slaugtered for human consumption through fraud and misrepresentation; and
(B) slaughter for human consumption provides a quick and evidence-free outlet for stolen horses; and the imposition of a ban on the sale of horseflesh for human consumption, regardless of the source of the horseflesh, is consistent with—
(A) the international obligations of the United States because such a ban—
(i) applies equally to domestic and foreign producers; and
(ii) avoids any discrimination among foreign sources of competing products; and
(B) provisions of international agreements to which the United States is a party that expressly allow for measures designed—
(i) to protect the health and welfare of animals; and
(ii) to enjoin the use of deceptive trade practices in international or domestic commerce.
SEC. 2. PURPOSES.
The purposes of this Act are—
to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption;
to prohibit the sale, possession, and trade of horseflesh for human consumption; and
to prohibit the sale, possession, and trade of horses for slaughter for human consumption.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
EUTHANASIA.—The term ‘‘euthanasia’’ means the killing of an animal humanely by a means that—
(A) immediately renders the animal unconscious; and
(B) causes the animal to remain unconscious until the animal dies.
EXPORT.—The term ‘‘export’’ means to take from any area subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to an area not subject to that jurisdiction, regardless of whether the taking constitutes an exportation within the meaning of the customs laws of the United States.
(A) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘‘horse’’ means any member of the family Equidae.
(B) INCLUSIONS.—The term ‘‘horse’’ includes a horse, pony, donkey, mule, ass, or burro.
HORSEFLESH.—The term ‘‘horseflesh’’ means the flesh of a dead horse, including the viscera, skin, hair, hide, hooves, and bones of a dead horse.
HORSE RESCUE FACILITY.—The term ‘‘horse rescue facility’’ means a facility described in section 6(a)(1).
HUMAN CONSUMPTION.—The term ‘‘human consumption’’ means ingestion by human beings as a source of food.
IMPORT.—The term ‘‘import’’ means to bring into any area subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from an area not subject to that jurisdiction, regardless of whether the bringing constitutes an importation within the meaning of the customs laws of the United States.
PERSON.—The term ‘‘person’’ means—
(A) an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other private entity;
(B) an officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of—
(i) the Federal Government; or
(ii) any State, municipality, or political subdivision of State; or
(C) any other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
SECRETARY.—The term ‘‘Secretary’’ means the Secretary of Agriculture.
SLAUGHTER.—The term ‘‘slaughter’’ means the commercial slaughter of 1 or more horses with the intent to sell, barter, or trade the flesh for human consumption.
STATE.—The term ‘‘State’’ means—
(A) a State;
(B) the District of Columbia;
(C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
(D) the Virgin Islands;
(F) the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
(G) American Samoa; and
(H) any other territory or possession of the United States.
TRANSPORT.—The term ‘‘transport’’ means—
(A) to move by any means; or
(B) to receive or load onto a vehicle for the purpose of movement.
UNITED STATES.—The term ‘‘United States’’ has the meaning given the term ‘‘customs territory of the United States’’ in general note 2 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.
SEC. 4. PROHIBITED ACTS.
A person shall not—
slaughter a horse for human consumption;
import into, or export from, the United States horseflesh for human consumption or live horses intended for slaughter for human consumption;
sell or barter, offer to sell or barter, purchase, possess, transport, deliver, or receive horseflesh for human consumption or live horses intended for slaughter for human consumption; or solicit, request, or otherwise knowingly cause any act prohibited under paragraph (1), (2), or (3).
SEC. 5. PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT.
(a) CRIMINAL PENALTIES.—A person violates section 4 shall be imprisoned not more than 1 year, fined under title 18, United States Code, or both.
(b) CIVIL PENALTIES.—
IN GENERAL.—If a person violates section 4, in addition to any other civil or criminal penalty that may be imposed under title 18, United States Code, or any other provision of law, the Secretary shall—
(A) assess against the person a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000; and
(B) seize all horses that are—
(i) in the physical or legal possession of the person at the time of arrest of the person; and
(ii) intended for slaughter for human consumption.
DEBARMENT.—The Secretary shall prohibit a person from importing, exporting, transporting, trading, or selling horses in the United States, if the Secretary finds that the person has engaged in a pattern or practice of actions that has resulted in a final judicial or administrative determination with respect to the assessment of a criminal or civil penalty for a violation of this Act.
REMISSION OR MITIGATION.—For good cause shown, the Secretary may remit or mitigate any civil penalty imposed under this subsection.
(c) SEPARATE OFFENSES.— For the purposes of this section, the following shall constitute a separate offense:
Each live horse transported, traded, slaughtered, or possessed in violation of this Act.
Each 400 pounds or less of seized horseflesh.
(d) NOTICE; HEARING.—No monetary penalty may be assessed under this section against a person for a violation of section 4 unless the person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing with respect to the violation in accordance with section 554 of title 5, United States Code.
USE OF PERSONNEL.— The Secretary—
(A) shall enforce this Act; and
(B) may use, by agreement, the personnel, services, and facilities of any Federal, State, or local agency for the purpose of enforcing this Act.
EXECUTION OF PROCESS; ARREST; SEIZURE.—
Any person authorized by the Secretary to enforce this Act may, in addition to any other authority conferred by law—
(A) execute any warrant or process issued by any officer or court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this Act;
(B) with or without warrant or other process, arrest any person that commits in the presence or view of the authorized person a violation of this Act (including any regulation promulgated under this Act);
(C) seize any horse or horseflesh possessed or being transported in violation of this Act (including any regulation promulgated under this Act) and dispose of the horse or horseflesh, in accordance with this section and regulations promulgated by the Secretary; or
(D) seize any vehicle or other equipment that was used (or appears to have been used) in violation of this Act (including any regulation promulgated under this Act) (unless the owner of the vehicle or other equipment did not know or did not have reason to know that the vehicle or other equipment was being used in violation of this Act).
SEC. 6. CARE OF SEIZED HORSES.
(a) PLACEMENT OF SEIZED HORSES.—
(A) TAX-EXEMPT ANIMAL RESCUE FACILITIES.— After seizure of a live horse in accordance with this Act, during the period in which the criminal or civil action against the person charged with violating this Act is pending, the arresting authority shall work with any appropriate animal welfare society or animal control department to provide for the temporary placement of the horse with an animal rescue facility that is—
(i) an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and
(ii) exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of that Code.
(B) OTHER ANIMAL RESCUE FACILITIES.— If placement at a facility described in subparagraph (A) is not practicable, the arresting authority shall work with any appropriate animal welfare society or animal control department to place the horse temporarily with—
(i) a facility that has as its primary purpose the humane treatment of animals; or
(ii) another suitable facility.
(A) POSTING OF BOND.— The owner of a horse seized in accordance with this Act may prevent permanent placement of the horse by the horse rescue facility that has temporary custody of the horse by posting with the court, not later than 10 days after the date on which the horse is seized, a bond in such amount as the court determines to be sufficient to provide for the necessary care and keeping of the horse for not less than 60 days, including the day on which the horse was taken into custody.
(B) POSTING OF NEW BOND.— If the horse has not been returned to the owner by the end of the time for which expenses are covered by the bond posted under subparagraph (A), and, if the owner desires to prevent permanent placement of the horse by the custodial horse rescue facility, the owner shall post a new bond with the court not later than 10 days after the date of expiration of the prior bond.
(C) COSTS FOR PROVIDING CARE FOR HORSE DEDUCTED FROM BOND.— If a bond has been posted in accordance with subparagraph (A) or (B), the custodial horse rescue facility may draw from the bond the actual reasonable costs incurred by the horse rescue facility in providing the necessary care and keeping of the seized horse during the period beginning on the date of the initial seizure and ending on the date of final disposition of the horse in the criminal or civil action alleging a violation of this Act.
PERMANENT PLACEMENT.— Except as provided in subsection (b), any horse seized under this Act and not returned to the owner shall be placed permanently with a horse rescue facility on—
(A) the imposition on the owner of the horse of a penalty under this Act;
(B) the surrender of the horse by the owner;
(C) the failure of the owner to post a bond in accordance with paragraph (2); or
(D) the determination by the Secretary that the owner cannot be identified.
(b) EUTHANASIA OF SEIZED HORSES.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary or any law enforcement individual enforcing this Act may order or perform the immediate euthanasia of any horse seized under this Act if the horse is injured beyond recovery and suffering irreversibly.
(B) METHODS.—The method of euthanasia under subparagraph (A)—
(i) shall be in accordance with the report of the Panel on Euthanasia of the American Veterinary Medical Association, dated 2000, and State and local laws; but
(ii) shall not include electrocution or penetrating captive bolt.
HORSES BEYOND RECOVERY OR NOT PLACEABLE.—
(A) IN GENERAL.— The Secretary or any individual charged with enforcing this Act may order euthanasia of any horse seized under this Act—
(i) that is injured, disabled, or diseased beyond recovery; or
(ii) the placement of which at a horse rescue facility is not practicable within 90 days of any circumstance described in subsection (a)(3).
(B) METHODS.— The method of euthanasia under subparagraph (A)—
(i) shall consist of performance by an equine or large-animal veterinarian of the euthanasia rated ‘‘Acceptable’’ for horses in the report of the Panel on Euthanasia of the American Veterinary Medical Association, dated 2000; but
(ii) shall not include penetrating captive bolt, electrocution, gunshot, or other nonchemical means.
SEC. 7. FUNDING FOR CARE OF SEIZED HORSES.
(a) GRANTS TO HORSE RESCUE FACILITIES.— To the extent that funds are made available by appropriation Acts, the Secretary shall make grants to horse rescue facilities that give adequate assurances to the Secretary that the horse rescue facility is willing to accept horses seized in accordance with this Act.
(b) PENALTIES, FINES, AND FORFEITED PROPERTY.— Amounts received as penalties, as fines, or from the sale of forfeited property under this Act shall be used for the care of any live horse that is—
seized from a person that violates this Act; and
taken into the possession of the United States or placed with a horse rescue facility.
SEC. 8. REPORT ON ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS.
Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that—
describes the efforts of the United States Government to enforce this Act; and
assesses the adequacy of the resources available for such enforcement.
SEC. 9. EXEMPTIONS.
(a) IN GENERAL.— Except as provided in section 4, 10 nothing in this Act affects the regulation by any State of horses in the State.
(b) EXCEPTION FOR DESIGNATED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL PURPOSES.—
A person described in section 3(8)(B) may engage in an activity described in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of section 4 solely for the purpose of enforcing this Act.
SEC. 10. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This Act takes effect on the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.