09/20/2005 11:00PM

Slaughter measure passes


A bill containing an amendment designed to stop the slaughter of horses for human consumption passed the Senate by a vote of 68-29 on Tuesday and has been sent to President Bush for his signature.

The bill, which passed in the House of Representatives in June by a vote of 269-158, would strip funding for a year from federally mandated meat inspectors at the three horse slaughterhouses in operation in the United States. The bill would also remove funding from inspection programs at the Mexican and Canadian borders, in order to attempt to stop horses from being shipped over the border for slaughter.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that 65,000 horses were slaughtered last year at the three operating slaughterhouses, although it is unknown how many of the horses were Thoroughbreds. Another 35,000 were shipped for slaughter to Mexico and Canada, supporters of the effort to ban slaughter have said.

While the bill's amendment is to put a stop to funding for only a year, a separate bill that would permanently remove the funding has been introduced in the House and is currently in the Energy and Commerce Committee.