The U.S. Cattlemen's Association (USCA) applauds the recent passage of the "Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act," 2012 (H.R. 2112), which passed the House 298:121 and the Senate 70:30. President Obama signed the bill into law on Nov. 18. The comprehensive spending package contains the 2012 agriculture appropriations bill, which does not include any riders prohibiting funding to be allocated for inspection of horse-processing plants. While the absence of the rider does not ensure reinstatement of horse slaughtering in the U.S., it is a step in the right direction toward that ultimate goal.

USCA is pleased to see this action and urges all producers to voice their collective support for those who have worked on this issue ever since the processing of horses was banned in the United States in 2006.

USCA urges all lawmakers to continue their efforts to ensure that horse slaughter is reinstated within the U.S. The current alternatives for old or unwanted equines consist of shipment to Mexico or abandonment. The proper and humane handling of these animals in USDA-inspected processing facilities will improve the quality of life for horses across the country and such changes must be made as soon as possible.