TRENTON—New Jersey enacted a measure to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The new law also bans the transport of horses to slaughter, as well as the sale and transport of horse meat for human consumption.
“We thank Governor Christie for protecting New Jersey’s equines from the unnecessary and inherently cruel practice of horse slaughter,” said Debora Bresch, Esq., senior state director of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) Government Relations for the Mid-Atlantic region. “As the official state animal, horses enjoy great respect among New Jersey residents, and horse slaughter is out of step with their deeply held values.”
Introduced by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-Cream Ridge) and Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Elizabeth), A.2023/S.1976 makes it illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption, prohibits the sale of horse meat, and bans the transport of horse meat or live horses for the purpose of slaughter.
“All states that do not specifically ban this abhorrent practice are at risk of becoming home to new slaughtering facilities,” added Bresch. “By signing this bill into law, Gov. Christie has spared New Jersey communities exposure to the extreme cruelty of horse slaughter and the horse slaughter trade that has made the state a major artery for the transport of horses to slaughterhouses in Canada, ultimately providing us with another crucial victory in the growing movement for a complete and total ban on horse slaughter.”
Earlier this month, several prominent New Jersey horse owners and advocates, including accomplished equestrian Jessica Springsteen, daughter of musician Bruce Springsteen, joined the ASPCA in submitting a letter to Gov. Christie urging him to sign the legislation. The letter, signed by several well-known equestrians from across the state, including ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador and top international rider Brianne Goutal, read in part:
“As horse owners and enthusiasts, we are appalled that once-loved horses could meet such a brutal end. When no re-homing option exists, a horse should be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian, not loaded onto a truck, cruelly transported, and then butchered for consumption abroad.”
The ASPCA is campaigning for the passage of the federal American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 2966/S.1176), which would prohibit the sale and transport of horses for slaughter in the United States, as well as across the border to Canada and Mexico. The passage of this legislation would end the current export and slaughter of approximately 100,000 American horses each year, the organization estimates.