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111th United States Congress:  2009-2010

For up-to-the-minute legislative developments, consult an online tracking site. 
The following are four such sites. There are others. Features vary:

American Horse Council

*Library of Congress

*Open Congress

Restore Our American Mustangs Act
Bill Number: S. 1579
Short Title:  Restore Our American Mustangs Act
Official Title:  A bill to amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to improve the management and long-term health of wild free-roaming horses and burros, and for other purposes.

Bill Sponsors:  Senator Robert Byrd (D, WV)
Bill Status:

Introduced:  8/5/2009
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.


Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009

Bill Number:  S. 727
Short Title:  Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009
Official Title:  A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit certain conduct relating to the use of horses for human consumption.


Bill Sponsors:  Sen. Mary Landrieu (D, LA)
Bill Status:

Introduced:  3/26/2009
Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR S3925-3926)

7/7/09:  Lacking votes for passage of this bill, Senator Landrieu offered it as an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill. The Committee directed the General Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an investigation on the status of horse welfare in this country as it relates to the cessation of horse slaughter operations. See text of the report below under 2009 State & Federal Legislative News

If you Oppose Criminalizing Horse Meat consider
signing a petition created by
Support Animal Agriculture & Oppose Criminalizing Horse Meat . In addition to adding your name to the petition, you are also able to send a message to your
U.S. Senators and Representative, either via email (no cost), or in the form of a letter (@ $3).

Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009

Bill Number: H.R. 503
Short Title: 
Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009
Official Title:  To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit certain conduct relating to the use of horses for human consumption.

Bill Sponsors: Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)
Bill Status:
Introduced:  1/14/2009
Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary:  1/14/2009
Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security:  3/16/09

Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009:  Amends the federal criminal code to impose a fine and/or prison term of up to three years for possessing, shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering, or receiving any horse, horse flesh, or carcass with the intent that it be used for human consumption. Reduces the prison term to one year if the offense involves less than five horses or less than 2,000 pounds of horse flesh or carcass and the offender has no prior conviction for this offense.

If you Oppose Criminalizing Horse Meat consider
 signing a petition created by
Support Animal Agriculture & Oppose Criminalizing Horse Meat . In addition to adding your name to the petition, you are also able to send a message to your
 U.S. Senators and Representative, either via email (no cost), or in the form of a letter (@ $3).

Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009
Bill Number: H.R. 305
Short Title: Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009
Official Title: To amend title 49, United States Code, to prohibit the transportation of horses in interstate transportation in a motor vehicle containing 2 or more levels stacked on top of one another.
Bill Sponsor:  Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Bill Status:
Introduced: 1/8/09
Referred to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit:  1/8/09
Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: 1/8/09
Sponsor introductory remarks on measure (CR E42): 1/8/09


Wild Horse and Burro Act
ill Number:  H.R. 1018
Official Title: To amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to improve the management and long-term health of wild free-roaming horses and burros, and for other purposes.

Bill Sponsor:  Representative Rahall (D-WV)
Bill Status:
Introduced:  2/12/2009
Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR E256):  2/12/2009
Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources:  2/12/2009
Referred to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands:  2/17/2009
Subcommittee Hearings Held:  3/3/09
House adopted the amendment in the nature of a substitute as agreed to by the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union:  7/17/09
DEBATE - Pursuant to the provisions in H.Res. 653, the House proceeded with 30 minutes of debate on the Hastings (WA) amendment:  7/17/09
Received in the Senate and read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:  7/19/09

H.Amdt 358 Pass: An amendment printed in Part A of House Report 111-212 to broaden the types of fertility controls authorized under the bill, narrows the definition of prohibited `commercial' uses for wild horses and burros and clarifies the membership of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Council; relaxes the requirement that the acreage available to wild horses and burros never be less than when the original Act passed in 1971; and the amendment makes restoration of the acreage a goal, rather than a requirement.

H.Amdt 359 Offered: An amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in Part B of House Report 111-212 is identical to the text of the wild horses and burros bill as passed by the House in the 110th Congress. It prohibits the commercial slaughter of horses and estimated by CBO to cost less than $500,000 a year to implement.

Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act amends the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to revise provisions concerning the management of such animals. Requires the Secretary of the Interior (for Bureau of Land Management- [BLM] administered lands) or the Secretary of Agriculture (for Forest Service-administered lands) to:
(1) update the inventory of such animals annually and make it publicly available on the BLM website;
(2) take specified actions to estimate populations of, and establish management levels for, such animals;
(3) identify new rangelands, arrange for supervised protection on private lands, and establish sanctuaries or exclusive use areas for such animals;
(4) implement enhanced surgical or immunocontraception sterilization or other safe methods of fertility control;
(5) exhaust all practicable options of maintaining horse and burro populations in the range before providing for the capture and removal of excess animals for private maintenance;
(6) take specified actions to promote the adoption program;
(7) temporarily remove horses or burros from the range if their immediate health or safety is threatened; and
(8) provide specified public information on animal removals, range changes, and treatment. Requires adopters of horses and burros to affirm that adopted animals will not be slaughtered for human consumption.
(1) the use of helicopters or other airborne devices to remove such animals;
(2) containing such animals in holding facilities for more than six months while awaiting disposition; or
(3) the destruction of such an animal unless the Secretary determines it is terminally ill.
Expands the membership of the advisory board on the management and protection of such animals.
Applies criminal penalties to any person who transports a live or deceased horse or burro for processing into commercial products.
Sets forth new reporting requirements on the management of such animals.


2010 State & Federal Legislative News

10/13/10 TheHorse.com / New York
9/23/10 TheHorse.com / New Mexico:  Wild horses: New Mexico plan would create nation's first state-owned sanctuary
9/20/10 TheHorse.com / North Carolina:  Bill would establish Corolla wild horse population level
8/26/10 TheHorse.com / California:  California Anti-Slaughter Resolution Passes
8/7/10 Wyoming:  Wild-horse plan to get longer comment period
8/4/10 TheHorse.com / Washington D.C.:  Congressmen seek to halt BLM gathers
July 2010:  National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) adopts new policy resolution calling for USDA inspection of horse meat
7/10/10 Maine:  New horse advocacy group to meet Wednesday
7/9/10 Florida:  U.S. Rep. Rooney, sons tour Palm City horse rescue facility
6/22/10 TheHorse.com:  Proposed Canadian bill could halt U.S. slaughter exports
6/9/10 Kentucky:  Kentucky governor signs bill to create nation's first equine welfare council. Hopes to raise the standard of horse welfare in the Commonwealth
5/18/10 TheHorse.com / Florida:  Florida anti-slaughter bill becomes law
5/17/10 TheHorse.com / Missouri:  Slaughter language slashed from Missouri bill
5/15/10 AVMA:  Mexico, Canada increase horse slaughter production. Nine states take sides on the issue
5/13/10 Missouri:  Horse slaughtering removed from agriculture bill
4/27/10 Tennessee:  Horse slaughter bill heads to summer study
4/23/10 Washington D.C.:  Animal welfare legislation introduced into Congress
4/12/10 Kentucky:  Equine Welfare HB398 signed by Governor
4/8/10 Tennessee:  Willie Nelson's protest in TN doesn't stop horse slaughter bill. Tennessee House subcommittee approves measure by 7-6 vote
4/7/10 Tennessee:  Willie Nelson fires back over horse slaughter bill. Country star, Niceley disagree on treatment of unwanted animals.
4/5/10 Missouri:  Missouri House passes horse slaughter bill (video)
4/1/10 Missouri:  Activist targeted by state legislators
3/31/10 TheHorse.com / Tennessee:  Tennessee livestock cruelty bill fails
3/30/10 Missouri:  House OKs horse slaughtering bill
3/29/10 Kentucky:  Bill to deal with stray horses goes to Beshear
3/29/10 Missouri:  House endorsed HB1747 that would allow slaughter of horses for human consumption.
3/25/10 Maryland:  General Assembly 2010:  Bill would lessen burden on HSWC in neglect, abuse cases
3/17/10 TheHorse.com / Tennessee:  Tennessee lawmakers seek felony charges for horse cruelty
3/11/10 Illinois:  Illinois horse-slaughter advocate says he’s giving up fight this year
3/10/10 Kentucky:  Senate approves stray horse bill
3/10/10 Wyoming:  Wyoming Governor signs legislation for option of processing to deal with abandoned horses
3/8/10 Oklahoma:  Oklahoma representatives approve animal husbandry bill
3/8/10 Kentucky:  Livestock care bill has underlying purpose. Proposed panel could stave off strict standards
3/4/10 South Dakota:  Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4:
3/3/10 Washington D.C. / Dept. of the Interior:  Statement of Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, on the 2011 President's Budget Request
3/3/10 Illinois:  IL House to examine horse slaughtering bill  (video)
2/27/10 Washington:  Horse meat was not taboo in times of war (photo)
2/16/10 West Virginia:  HB 420 Passed
2/25/10 Texas:  Kinky Friedman bringing animal welfare concerns into agriculture commissioner's race
2/25/10 Idaho:  Animal cruelty law moves forward
2/24/10 California:  California introduces animal abuse registry bill
2/24/10 Minnesota:  'Nip/Tuck' star has a beef with Franken over horses
2/23/10 Illinois:  Horse slaughter measure clears first Statehouse hurdle
2/22/10 Idaho:  Idaho Senate approves Senate Joint Memorial 104
2/21/10 Idaho:  Idaho Legislature considers horse slaughter bill
2/18/10 Kentucky:  Veterinarians seek equine welfare board
2/17/10 Kentucky:  Panel backs horse rescue standards board
2/16/10 Illinois:  Horse slaughter ban back on agenda
2/15/10 TheHorse.com:  Canadian rules could impact slaughter export
2/10/10 California:  Bill No. SJR 22 Introduced by Senator Florez
2/2010 Illinois: HB4812 Repeals Horse Meat Prohibition - Creates Equine Rescue Assistance Fund
1/23/10 Montana:  Judge denies horse advocates’ appeal
1/21/10 South Dakota:  House Concurrent Resolution No. 1003
1/14/10 Illinois:  HB 4812 Introduced by Rep. Jim Sacia
1/12/09 Missouri:  Viebrock backs bill for horse slaughterhouses
1/11/10 Nebraska:  Bill would rewrite Neb. livestock-cruelty rules

2009 State & Federal Legislative News

12/24/09 Obama asked to halt wild-horse roundup in Nevada
12/23/09 Washington:  United States District Court for the District of Columbia Civil Action No. 09-2222 (PLF), In Defense of Animals, et al, Plaintiffs v. Ken Salazar, et al, Defendants
12/22/09 South Dakota:  Horse ownership inspections to continue, Brand Board says
12/18/09 North Dakota:  Bismarck woman lobbies for animals
12/17/09 Washington:  Judge asked to block wild horse roundup
12/14/09 Nevada:  BLM approves Nevada wild horse roundup
11/27/09 Tennessee:  Classification makes horse cruelty misdemeanor. Attempts to make a felony fall short of full house vote(photos)   (video)
10/27/09 TheHorse.com:  Government to study unwanted horse issues
10/7/09 Washington, D.C. / Department of the Interior News Release:  Salazar Seeks Congressional Support for Sustainable National Program to Manage Iconic Wild Horses
10/7/09 Washington, D.C.:  Mustangs would go to areas in Midwest, East, interior secretary says. Wild horses may be sent to preserves
10/2/09 Nebraska:   State lawmakers want to resolve horse dilemma
9/1/09 California:  Senate Resolution 30, relative to horses and horse processing,  introduced by Senator Dean Florez
8/2/09 Michigan:  Michigan House committee passes livestock care measure
7/30/09 Arkansas:  Arkansas Animal Cruelty Law takes effect Friday
7/29/09 FOX News:  Pony Up. Critics blast plan to spend millions on horse contraceptives (video)
7/29/09 FOX News:  Critics worry measure to save wild horses is taxpayer drain
7/25/09 Washington, D.C.:  Playboy bunnies hop on horse issue. Playmates fight for horse rights
7/22/09 The Hill:  Animal Welfare Special Report by Congressional Lawmakers
7/21/09 Wyoming:  Barrasso, Lummis oppose House's wild horse bill
7/19/09 Washington:  Is 700 million dollar wild horse bill justified?  (video)
7/18/09 Oregon:  Groups push to slaughter horses for meat, possibly starting in Oregon
7/17/09 Washington:  Room to roam: House votes to protect wild horses
7/13/09 Tri-State Livestock News:  GAO study on effects of horse slaughter ban called for by Senate Committee
7/7/09 Washington:  From the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee, regarding Horse Welfare The Committee is aware of reports that since the closing of a number of horse slaughter plants in the United States in recent years, there has been a decline in the overall welfare of horses. The Committee has been made aware of anecdotal evidence that the number of abandoned horses has increased and an increased number of horses are suffering from neglect. The Committee therefore believes that information relating to the consequences of all recent actions regarding horse slaughter should be gathered to ensure that any continued action or change in policy actually improves the overall welfare of these animals.

As a result, the Committee directs the General Accountability Office to conduct an investigation on the status of horse welfare in this country as it relates to the cessation of horse slaughter operations. In particular, the Committee believes that GAO should consider, at least, how the horse industry has responded to the closure of U.S. horse slaughter facilities in terms of both the numbers of horse sales, exports, adoptions, or abandonments; the implication these changes have had on farm income and trade; any impacts to State and local governments and animal protection organizations; how the Department oversees the transport of horses destined for slaughter in foreign countries, particularly Canada and Mexico; the manner in which the Department coordinates with the Department of the Interior and State governments to assist them in identifying, holding and transporting unwanted horses for foreign export; and general conclusions regarding the welfare of horses as a result of a ban on horse slaughter for human consumption. The Committee expects a report in this investigation by March 1, 2010.
6/29/09 New York:  Lawmakers, racing leaders to meet on horse abuse punishment
6/26/09 Drovers:  American Indians support horse slaughter
6/25/09 Ohio:  Constitutional amendment on animal care backed by Ohio lawmakers
6/17/09 QuarterHorseNews.com:  Eight of 13 states pass horse processing bills
6/1/09 Tennessee:  State horse meat bills on hold
5/14/09 Missouri:  Mo. lawmakers call for restarting horse slaughter
5/11/09 Oregon:  BLM's plan to corral more wild horses draws criticism
5/11/09 National Conference of State Legislators:  Horse Legislation
5/11/09 Oklahoma:  New horse slaughter policy stirs debate in Oklahoma
5/6/09 Oklahoma:  Oklahoma bill to help rescue race horses blocked
5/5/09 New York:  State mulling a change in horse farm inspections
5/2/09 Montana:  Horse facility bill lapses into law
4/29/09 Tennessee:  Tennessee lawmakers to consider horse-meat processing
4/29/09 TheHorse.com / Washington D.C.: Mustang bill heads to House
4/28/09 Montana:  Session ends, Horse slaughter bill still in question (video)
4/20/09 Kansas:  Scores of neglected mustangs imperiled on Nebraska ranch
4/17/09 QuarterHorseNews.com: Montana Gov. has 10 days to sign or veto
4/16/09 Montana:  Schweitzer's horse slaughter changes rejected by MT Senate (audio and/or video)
4/16/09 North Dakota:  Horse bills get final OK
4/15/09 Kentucky:  New relief for horse boarding facilities stuck with unpaid fees
4/14/09 Florida:  Reviving a dead horse industry and who's behind it 
4/10/09 Arkansas:  Horse slaughter resolution to Beebe for approval
4/9/09 Montana:  House bucks Schweitzer on slaughter bill
4/7/09 Oklahoma:  Oklahoma animal workers seek horse teeth bill
4/4/09 Montana:  Governor excises parts of horse-slaughter bill
4/3/09 Illinois:  Blagojevich indicted on federal corruption charges
4/1/09 Washington, D.C.: Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act introduced in Senate
4/1/09 Illinois:  House rejects bill to repeal horse slaughtering ban
4/1/09 Montana:  Horse slaughtering faces uncertain future
3/27/09 Montana: Demonstrators rally against horse slaughterhouse bill (video)
3/27/09 TheHorse.com:  Senate Bill tackles horse slaughter issue
3/24/09 North Dakota:  Study of N.D. horse slaughter plant endorsed
3/23/09 Idaho:  Idaho lawmaker wants slaughterhouses for horses
3/21/09 Montana:  Horse slaughter bill approved
3/19/09 Montana:  Horse-slaughter bill gallops through state Senate
3/18/09 Montana:  Horse-slaughter bill advances
3/13/09 North Dakota:  Federal law could render N.D. horse plant a no-deal
3/13/09 Montana:  Emotions run high at hearing on horse slaughter bill ($)
3/12/09 TheHorse.com: Updating State slaughter resolutions; Idaho joins debate
3/12/09 Oregon:  Senate votes to make horse abandonment a crime (photo)
3/12/09 Montana:  Montana Senate hears horse slaughter bill
3/7/09 New Mexico:  Number of abandoned horses increasing in New Mexico
3/6/09 North Dakota:  Ranchers support ND horse slaughter plant
3/6/09 Arkansas:  Resolution says neigh to no horse plants
3/5/09 Missouri:  Horse slaughter resolution gets full Mo. Senate approval
3/5/09 Missouri:  Missouri senators: bring back horse slaughtering
3/3/09 Wyoming:  Wyo. Legislature passes resolution to support horse industry
3/3/09 Washington, D.C.:  Pickens to testify to House on wild horse treatment
3/2/09 North Dakota:  Legislators meet with farmers
2/27/09 Montana:   House bill to promote horse processing in Montana  (audio)
2/25/09 Montana:  Horse slaughter bill passes House, transmitted to Senate (video)
2/25/09 Montana:  Horse-slaughtering plants endorsed by House
2/24/09 Illinois:  Horse slaughtering bill passes House committee
2/24/09 Montana:  Horse slaughter facility bill
2/23/09 Ohio Equine Industry Council: List of states introducing legislation grows
2/22/09 Arizona:  Bill creates horse rescue registry
2/19/09 The Horse.com:  List of states introducing slaughter legislation grows
2/19/09 Montana:  Horse slaughter bill makes progress
2/19/09 Montana:  House panel advances bill to encourage horse-slaughtering
2/19/09 Arizona:  Lawmaker: Help strapped owners find shelter for horses
2/18/09 Tennessee:  TN lawmaker wants to relax horse meat law
2/17/09 Utah:  Several states moving toward horse slaughter
Week of 2/16/09 Montana:  State, federal equine slaughter bills attract interest
2/13/09 Washington, D.C.:  House committee gets new mustang bill
2/13/09 States ask to retain control of equine transport, slaughter
2/12/09 Utah:  Slaughtering horses strikes nerve with lawmakers
2/9/09 Wyoming:  Wyo. lawmakers decry interference in horse slaughter
2/7/09 Wyoming:  Lawmakers decry interference in horse slaughter
2/7/09 North Dakota:  Horse slaughter facility promoted
2/6/09 North Dakota:  Horse slaughter bill (video)
2/5/09 Arkansas:  Arkansas animal cruelty bill signed into law
2/2/09 Virginia:  Bill may require fee for bicycling, riding horses in Va. forests
2/1/09 JAVMA:  State legislators' group opposes federal bills to restrict horse slaughter
1/22/09 Arkansas:  Animal cruelty bill sails through Senate
1/16/09 Washington, D.C.:  Horse slaughter legislation reintroduced


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Document the Neglect and Abandonment of America's Horses
Last updated: June 08, 2011