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New York Passes Historic Anti-Horse Slaughter Law

A message from President/Founder Susan Wagner:

Dear Friends,

National Horse Day took on very special meaning for horse-loving New Yorkers Wednesday when Governor Kathy Hochul signed bills A5109/S2163B, banning the slaughter of horses for human and animal consumption in, through, and from New York State. We, along with countless other New York residents, had been anxiously waiting for this day ever since both bills passed through the chambers of the New York State Legislature in June. As we headed into mid-December, we hoped that the governor would sign this life-saving legislation on December 13th in celebration of National Horse Day, and she did!

Sponsored by Deborah Glick in the NYS Assembly and Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. in the Senate, the timing and opportunity to finally get a bill like this passed was heightened greatly because the chairs of the Agriculture Committees in both chambers, Senator Michelle Hinchey and Assemblymember Donna Lupardo, allowed the bills to pass out of their respective committees and come to the floors of the Senate and Assembly for a vote.

Those of us who have been fighting to end horse slaughter for decades saw the conditions that existed in New York as a moment in time when something momentous for horses could finally happen in this state. We join the vast majority of New Yorkers in profusely thanking Governor Kathy Hochul for signing this historic legislation. We also express our deepest gratitude to the bills’ sponsors, Assemblymember Glick and Senator Addabbo, and all of the lawmakers, advocates, activists, organizations, and the many NYS residents who worked hard to make this happen. For Assemblymember Deborah Glick, this victory was a long time coming.

“Horses are beautiful animals entwined with our nation’s history,” Glick said. “I have worked for 19 years with advocates to prohibit the buying, selling, and transportation of horses for the purposes of slaughter in New York, and I applaud Governor Hochul for signing this critical humane legislation, finally giving these cherished animals the protection they deserve.”

Now that the bill is law, the next step is to ensure that it is enforced as soon as it takes effect so that equines in this state are no longer sent to slaughter by shipping them across state lines or over the Canadian border for that purpose. Also, major efforts to stop trucks and trailers carrying slaughter-bound equines from other states through New York into Canada must be enforced. The success of this legislation now lies in the hands of law enforcement. Sue McDonough, a retired 30-year veteran of the New York State Police and a former president of the NYS Humane Association, has dedicated many years to helping train law enforcement officers in understanding and enforcing New York’s cruelty laws.

“Although this law (section 385) will reside in the Agriculture & Markets Laws, it will be the job of the police, mainly the State Police, to enforce it since they patrol the major interstates. It’s the responsibility of police officers to enforce all of the laws that apply to animal cruelty in New York State (Art. 26-371),” she said.

We at Equine Advocates will now turn our focus to calling for the federal bill introduced as the SAFE Act to be amended. As of now, the bill only bans the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the U.S. and for export. It does not protect horses from being slaughtered for zoo/pet food and other secondary markets. Amending the bill would accomplish what the New York law achieves, which is to ban this repugnant and un-American practice entirely by prohibiting the slaughter of horses for both human and animal consumption nationally.

I believe the lesson learned from what happened in New York is that a total horse slaughter ban for both human and animal consumption can be achieved. It is time for the Doubting Thomases to step aside. It can and should be done!

I am so proud of New York for setting the gold standard for anti-horse slaughter legislation in the nation. New York’s example can now be used as a model for federal legislation banning the slaughter of America’s horses once and for all.



Susan Wagner

President & Founder