Adverse Funding Prohibition Eliminated from USDA 2008 House Appropriations Bill
RELEASE: August 9, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the American Horse Council
Late on August 2, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the funding bill for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Fiscal Year 2008 after removing the overly broad language that was opposed by the horse industry.
When the USDA funding bill was reported out of the House Appropriations Committee two weeks ago, it included language that was intended to apply to slaughter horses. But the provision was so broadly drafted that it would have applied to all horses and been disastrous for the horse industry. Section 738 of the bill would have prohibited USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service from carrying out all horse health monitoring and regulatory work and prohibited the inspection of horses required to import or export a horse. Obviously, this would have dramatically affected the horse industry, which is national and international in scope. Horses are transported, imported and exported for many reasons, including racing, showing, sales and breeding. All these activities would have been adversely impacted by this provision.
Fortunately, this provision was removed before the House gave final approval to the USDA appropriations bill. The import, export, international and national movement of horses under USDA supervision and oversight will continue as it is done now. This was accomplished because organizations and individuals from numerous segments of the industry contacted House members raising the issue and their concerns.
The House did include language in the bill that would cut-off funding for USDA activities related to the slaughter of horses. This provision is similar to the one that was included in the USDA appropriations bill passed in the last Congress. Since the amendment is part of an appropriations bill, the funding ban, if it is also passed by the Senate, will last for Fiscal Year 2008, which extends from October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008.
Please call the AHC with any questions at (202) 296-4031.