USTA applauds Senate introduction of John Stringer Rainey SAFE Act and urges Congressional passage for the protection of horses and equines

Columbus, OH — The United States Trotting Association (USTA) applauds the introduction in the United States Senate of a bipartisan bill aimed at prohibiting transportation of horses to be slaughtered for human consumption.

Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the John Stringer Rainey Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act (S.2732), on Sept. 14, 2021. The bill would make it illegal to transport horses across borders for the purpose of slaughtering for human consumption.

“Enacting this bill will strengthen protections for horses and those who care for them,” said USTA CEO Mike Tanner. “As an organization built around horses, the USTA applauds Senators Menendez, Graham, Whitehouse, and Collins for taking this important step, and we urge passage of this legislation in the Senate.”

Current law allows for the transport of horses to other countries where slaughtering horses for human consumption is permissible. This loophole enables bad actors to take advantage of horses and horse owners in vulnerable situations. Putting a stop to the horsemeat pipeline will make room for better alternatives for horse owners who find themselves in an otherwise hopeless situation. The USTA leads and supports programs for retired Standardbred racehorses, including programs that provide safety nets for horses in need of care. This includes USTA’s Support Our Standardbreds program, the Full Circle program, and an organization USTA helped found, the Standardbred Transition Alliance.

The USTA further commends all Congressional efforts to advance this important policy objective. Earlier this year, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced H.R. 3355, the SAFE Act of 2021, which shares the policy objectives of the Senate version. The House of Representatives later passed similar policy that Representatives Troy Carter (D-LA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) offered as an amendment to the INVEST in America Act. Each of these efforts represents forward progress that the USTA hopes will culminate into a successful change to U.S. law.

The USTA urges the Senate and House to take swift action to pass the John Stringer Rainey SAFE Act. The sooner that the bill can be signed into law, the sooner this measure will help put an end to the pipeline of America’s beloved horses becoming human food in other countries.

To read the full text of the John Stringer Rainey SAFE Act click here.

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