We’re continuing to track the progress of two key issues at stake for horsemen in the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget bills: here’s the scoop on the latest amendments concerning horse slaughter and wild horses.
Just a few weeks before the deadline of October 1, the budget bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 are moving slowly but steadily through the process towards becoming law. Two key issues — the fate of America’s wild horses and the potential re-opening of horse slaughter facilities in the US — have been at stake in early appropriations bills. Here’s a quick review of how these issues played out:
- House Appropriations Committee defeats proposed Agricultura Appropriations amendment that would continue to defund horse slaughter facility inspectors, effectively banning slaughter in the US on July 12 [House Appropriations Committee Lifts Ban On Horse Slaughter]
- House Appropriations Committee passes a proposed Interior Appropriations amendment that allows for the euthanasia of unadopted wild horses in an attempt to get numbers down to what the Bureau of Land Management deems the appropriate level on July 17 [House Appropriations Committee Passes Interior Amendment to Allow Euthanasia of Wild Horses]
- The Senate Appropriations Committee passes its version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill including language that would continue to defund horse slaughter facility inspectors, in contrast to the House version, on July 20 [Senate Passes Amendment to Prohibit Funding Horse Slaughter Inspectors]
The House Rules Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss H.R. 3345, the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, also titled “Make American Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018.” Included in this hearing were two amendments of interest to horsemen:
- A bi-partisan amendment from Reps. Titus, King, Polis, Curbelo and Grisham that limits funds related to the slaughter of healthy, wild horses and burros
- A bi-partisan amendment from Reps. Buchanan, Roybal-Allard, Royce and Blumenauer that prohibits federal funding for inspections at horse slaughter plants in the United States
Both of these amendments were defeated by the Rules Committee, meaning that the bill will now go to to the full House of Representatives for debate without language that would keep horse slaughter plants in the United States closed and prevent the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros.
The Senate Appropriations Committee could hold its hearing on the Interior appropriations bill as early as next week. At the end of these processes, any differences between the spending bills will need to be addresses in reconciliation committee until one final bill can be presented to the executive branch to be signed into law.
We will continue to follow the progress of these key issues as the appropriations bills move through their processes.