National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the introduction of the Safeguard American Food Exports Act (SAFE), which would prohibit horse slaughter operations in the U.S. as well as prohibiting transport of the animals across the U.S. border for slaughter in Mexico and Canada:
“NFU has strongly opposed any ban on horse slaughter in the past and is also opposed to the legislation currently being proposed. The subject of horse slaughter has gained increasing momentum in the media recently and, unfortunately, the narrative being played is plagued with misinformation.
“Proponents of the ban frequently argue that slaughtering horses is not humane, but it’s certainly more humane than leaving horses no longer fit for riding or other purposes to die from neglect, which is what is certain to happen in too many cases if this ban is enacted.
“It is important to note that U.S. horse processing plants, like all USDA-regulated plants, are required to adhere to the requirements of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and all meat will be exported.
“We believe that all horses and other animals should be treated humanely from life until death. Unfortunately, if this legislation passes, we will not be able to guarantee that they will be.”