- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday voted down an amendment to keep an effective ban on horse slaughtering facilities in the U.S. — the latest salvo in what’s been a years-long battle in Congress over the issue.

On a 27-25 vote, members of the committee voted down an amendment to a 2018 agriculture appropriations bill that would have continued an effective ban on facilities operating in the U.S.

The battle has been going on for years, with Congress in the past including language in such must-pass spending bills that bar inspections of the facilities, effectively shutting them down.

If the language makes it through the full House and Senate, the new policy would take effect once the current fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

Lawmakers lifted the de facto ban in 2011 but reinstated it several years later, and advocates on both sides say their solutions offer the most humane solution.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat and co-chairman of the Animal Protection Caucus, called the Wednesday vote “unconscionable.”

“This isn’t over, and we will look for opportunities to reinstate the ban as the appropriations process continues,” Mr. Blumenauer said.

But advocates for allowing the facilities to operate in the U.S. say horses end up facing even more inhumane conditions when they get get shipped to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.

“I don’t think anybody, whether you’re voting for or against this measure, is saying we need to slaughter horses,” said Rep. Mark Amodei, Nevada Republican.

“By keeping the funding for one position open in a country that has no licensed facilities provides at least some pressure to do something other than what we’re doing,” he said.

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