The New York State Senate today passed Senator Frank Padavan’s (Queens) legislation that prohibits the slaughter of horses for human consumption. This is the fourth consecutive year the Senate has passed this humane measure with bipartisan support.
The legislation would make it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, for those who purchase, trade, offer import or export a horse or horse flesh with the intent to slaughter for human consumption. All members of the equine family, including ponies, donkeys, mules and burros are protected from slaughtering for human consumption under this legislation.
“This legislation establishes strong criminal and civil penalties for any individual who brutally slaughters any horse for the purposes of human consumption,” Padavan said. “Enactment of this legislation would help ensure that all horses are protected from prolonged suffering and coldhearted treatment. I urge the State Assembly to join my Senate colleagues and I in passing this legislation immediately and show that callous and inhumane treatment of these majestic animals will not be tolerated in our state.”
A civil penalty up to $1,000 may be imposed on an individual and $5,000 on a corporation for the first violation in lieu of criminal prosecution. Subsequent violations would be punishable by fines up to $25,000. Any civil penalties collected will be deposited into the state’s animal population control fund.
Over the past few years, the number of American horses being slaughtered has increased due concerns over international sources of meat potentially contaminated by mad cow disease. Many horses that are protected under this bill arrive at slaughterhouses and are faced with brutally inhumane conditions.
Padavan’s legislation has garnered widespread support from humane and animal protection organizations throughout New York and the nation along with thousands of horse enthusiasts including nationally-recognized celebrities, Bo Derek and Mary Tyler Moore.
The bill now awaits action in the Assembly.