Horses have a long, vital history in the United States. They’ve been our constant companions for generations, acting as our work partners and pets. Now, though, these precious animals are being shipped by the thousands each year across U.S. borders to be processed for meat, a practice that, in addition to being extremely cruel, poses serious risks to consumers, workers and our environment.

Our senators and representatives have an opportunity this year to end the slaughter of horses by supporting the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, or H.R.3355 / S.2732.

There are many reasons to oppose this inhumane practice. First, the slaughter is inevitably cruel given horses’ natural flight response to prey situations plus the lack of care shown during transportation to their tragic ends. Second, slaughter facilities pollute the environment and put workers in danger without any significant economic benefits. Furthermore, horse meat itself puts consumer health at risk, as many of the horses who ultimately go to slaughter have consumed medications toxic to humans. The lack of concern for human and animal safety in this industry is alarming, and indeed polling shows that 80% of Americans already oppose the slaughter of horses.

Contact your representative and urge them to support the SAFE Act (H.R3355) to end this cruel industry and help protect American horses.

—Melissa Neigh,