Riders removed from USDA horse processing inspection

News
Nov 18, 2011
by WLJ

The Conference Committee on HR 2112 last week consolidated appropriations for Agriculture, Commerce- Justice-Science and Transportation - Housing and Urban Development signed a conference report resolving differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill that, for the first time since 2005, does not contain annual riders that prohibit USDA from providing necessary inspection for horse processing facilities.

The International Equine Business Association (IEBA) is a new association that is an outcome of the alliances that United Horsemen has formed with hundreds of entities like the National Tribal Horse Coalition, Charros Federation USA, horse councils, production agriculture, pet animal and animal entertainment groups, as well as international partners like the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada. The association is eager to work with equine businesses, organizations, state, tribal and federal agencies to maximize this opportunity.

“We could not be more pleased,” says IEBA U.S. co-chair Sue Wallis, “and grateful to our many partners and supporters to once again have a clear path to increase the welfare of horses, reinvigorate the devastated horse-related economy, and promote the ethical, appropriate use of horses that will be welcomed by a worldwide and domestic market, create jobs, and preserve our beloved horseback American culture for our children and grandchildren. The nowdevastated horse industry looks forward to the day when we can once again contribute more than $1.9 billion in tax revenue nationwide from an industry that, prior to 2007, was a $102 billion sector of animal agriculture ...to once again supporting 1.4 million full-time jobs working with horses everyday.”

The tide turned for the horse industry when Congress received a report from their research office that looked into the effect of the closure of the U.S. horse processing facilities. That Government Accountability Office report, HORSE WEL- FARE: Action Needed to Address Unintended Consequences of Domestic Slaughter Cessation, documents the decline in horse welfare, and the negative impacts on the overall equine economy as a direct result of the loss of a humane option for otherwise unwanted, unusable, excess horses.

Because of the back-door exclusionary efforts of the Humane Society of the United States, Congress adopted the first of these damaging appropriations riders in 2005, with more added in 2007 that have prevented any facilities from operating in the 46 states that do not have state law preventing them.

“That roadblock is now removed,” noted Wallis. “Now we shift our focus to resuming profitable legitimate businesses in the horse industry, and a return of normal markets for horses at every level, and every sector of the diverse horse world.”

IEBA is positioned to promote and encourage equine harvesting businesses that are held to high humane handling and food safety standards in order to bring quality products to a vibrant and viable worldwide market. IEBA will be providing legal defense, political advocacy, business consulting, technological solutions and more for all aspects of the equine industry.

— WLJ

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