S. 2352 American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2004


American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2004 (Introduced in Senate)

S 2352 IS

108th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2352

To prevent the slaughter of horses in and from the United States for human consumption by prohibiting the slaughter of horses for human consumption and by prohibiting the trade and transport of horseflesh and live horses intended for human consumption, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 27, 2004

Mr. ENSIGN (for himself, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. INOUYE, and Ms. COLLINS) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

To prevent the slaughter of horses in and from the United States for human consumption by prohibiting the slaughter of horses for human consumption and by prohibiting the trade and transport of horseflesh and live horses intended for human consumption, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2004′.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are–

      (1) to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption;
      (2) to prohibit the sale, possession, and trade of horseflesh for human consumption; and
      (3) to prohibit the sale, possession, and trade of live horses for slaughter for human consumption.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
      (1) EUTHANASIA- The term `euthanasia’ means to kill an animal humanely by means that immediately render the animal unconscious, with this state remaining until the swift death of the animal.

      (2) EXPORT- The term `export’ means to take from any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to a place not subject to that jurisdiction, whether or not the taking constitutes an exportation within the meaning of the customs laws of the United States.
      (3) HORSE- The term `horse’ means all members of the equid family, including horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, asses, and burros.
      (4) HORSEFLESH- The term `horseflesh’ means the flesh of a dead horse, including the viscera, skin, hair, hide, hooves, and bones of the horse.
      (5) HUMAN CONSUMPTION- The term `human consumption’ means ingestion by people as a source of food.
      (6) IMPORT- The term `import’ means to bring into any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from a place not subject to that jurisdiction, whether or not the bringing constitutes an importation within the meaning of the customs laws of the United States.
      (7) PERSON- The term `person’ means–

        (A) an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other private entity;
        (B) an officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of–
          (i) the Federal Government; or
          (ii) any State, municipality, or political subdivision of a State; or
        (C) any other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
      (8) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary’ means the Secretary of Agriculture.

      (9) SLAUGHTER- The term `slaughter’ means the commercial slaughter of 1 or more horses with an intent to sell, barter, or trade horseflesh for human consumption.
      (10) STATE- The term `State’ means–
        (A) each of the several States of the United States;
        (B) the District of Columbia;
        (C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
        (D) Guam;

        (E) American Samoa;
        (F) the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
        (G) the Federated States of Micronesia;
        (H) the Republic of the Marshall Islands;
        (I) the Republic of Palau;
        (J) the United States Virgin Islands; and

        (K) any other territory or possession of the United States.
      (11) TRANSPORT- The term `transport’ means–
        (A) to move by any means; or
        (B) to receive or load onto a vehicle for the purpose of movement.
      (12) UNITED STATES- The term `United States’ means the customs territory of the United States, as defined in general note 2 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

SEC. 4. PROHIBITED ACTS.

    A person shall not–
      (1) slaughter a horse for human consumption;
      (2) import into, or export from, the United States–
        (A) horseflesh for human consumption; or
        (B) live horses intended for slaughter for human consumption;
      (3) sell or barter, offer to sell or barter, purchase, possess, transport, deliver, or receive–

        (A) horseflesh for human consumption; or
        (B) live horses intended for slaughter for human consumption; or
      (4) solicit, request, or otherwise knowingly cause any act prohibited under paragraph (1), (2), or (3).

SEC. 5. PENALTIES.

    (a) CRIMINAL PENALTIES- A person that violates section 4 shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.

    (b) CIVIL PENALTIES-

      (1) IN GENERAL- In addition to any other civil or criminal penalty that may be imposed under title 18, United States Code, or any other provision of law, if a person violates section 4, the Secretary shall–
        (A) assess a civil penalty against the person of not less than $2,500 but not more than $5,000; and
        (B) confiscate all horses in the physical or legal possession of the person at the time of arrest, if the horses are intended for slaughter.
      (2) REMISSION OR MITIGATION OF PENALTIES- For good cause shown, the Secretary may remit or mitigate any civil penalty under this Act.
      (3) DEBARMENT- The Secretary shall prohibit a person from importing, exporting, transporting, trading, or selling horses in the United States, if the Secretary finds that the person has engaged in a pattern or practice of actions that have resulted in a final judicial or administrative determination with respect to the assessment of criminal or civil penalties for violations of this Act.

    (c) NOTICE; HEARING- No monetary penalty may be assessed against a person for a violation under this section unless the person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing with respect to the violation in accordance with section 554 of title 5, United States Code.

    (d) SEPARATE OFFENSES-
      (1) LIVE HORSE- Each live horse transported, traded, slaughtered, or possessed in violation of this Act shall constitute a separate offense.
      (2) HORSEFLESH- Each 400 hundred pounds or less of horseflesh transported, traded, slaughtered, or possessed in violation of this Act shall constitute a separate offense.

SEC. 6. ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall enforce this Act directly or by agreement with any other Federal, State, or local agency.

    (b) ADMINISTRATION- Any person authorized by the Secretary to enforce this Act–

      (1) may execute any warrant or process issued by any officer or court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this Act; and
      (2) if so authorized, may, in addition to any other authority conferred by law–
        (A) with or without warrant or other process, arrest any person committing (in the presence or view of the authorized person) a violation of this Act (including a regulation promulgated under this Act);
        (B) seize the cargo of any truck or other conveyance used or employed to violate this Act (including a regulation promulgated under this Act) or that reasonably appears to have been so used or employed; and
        (C) seize, whenever and wherever found, all horses and horseflesh possessed in violation of this Act (including a regulation promulgated under this Act) and dispose of the horses and horseflesh, in accordance with this section (including regulations promulgated under this Act).

    (c) PLACEMENT OF CONFISCATED HORSES-

      (1) TEMPORARY PLACEMENT- After confiscation of a live horse pursuant to this Act, an arresting authority shall work with animal welfare societies and animal control departments–
        (A) to ensure the temporary placement of the horse with an animal rescue facility that is an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of that Code, while the person charged with violating this Act is prosecuted; or
        (B) if placement at such a facility is not practicable, to temporarily place the horse with–
          (i) a facility that has as its primary purpose the humane treatment of animals; or
          (ii) another suitable location, as determined by the Secretary or arresting authority.
      (2) BONDS-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The owner of a horse confiscated under this Act may prevent permanent placement of the horse by the facility that has temporary custody of the horse by posting a bond with a court of competent jurisdiction in an amount the court determines is sufficient to provide for the necessary care and keeping of the horse for at least 60 days, including the day on which the horse was taken into custody.
        (B) TIMING- The bond shall be filed with the court not later than 10 days after the horse is confiscated.
        (C) LACK OF BOND- If a bond is not posted in accordance with this paragraph, the custodial facility shall determine permanent placement of the horse in accordance with reasonable practices for the humane treatment of animals.
        (D) TREATMENT FOLLOWING BOND PERIOD-
          (i) NEW BOND- If the animal has not yet been returned to the owner at the end of the time for which expenses are covered by the bond and if the owner desires to prevent permanent placement of the animal by the custodial facility, the owner shall post a new bond with the court within 10 days after expiration of the prior bond.
          (ii) PERMANENT PLACEMENT- If a new bond is not posted in accordance with clause (i), the custodial facility shall determine permanent placement of the horse in accordance with reasonable practices for the humane treatment of animals.

        (E) COSTS FOR PROVIDING CARE FOR HORSE DEDUCTED FROM BOND- If a bond is posted in accordance with this paragraph, the custodial facility may draw from the bond the actual reasonable costs incurred by the facility in providing the necessary care and keeping of the confiscated horse from the date of the initial confiscation of the horse to the date of final

disposition of the horse in the criminal action charging a violation of this Act.

      (3) PERMANENT PLACEMENT- Except as provided in subsection (d), any horse confiscated pursuant to this Act and not returned to the owner after confiscation shall be placed permanently with an animal rescue facility or other suitable facility as described in this section on–
        (A) the conviction under this Act of the owner of the horse;
        (B) the surrender of the horse by the owner;
        (C) the failure of the owner of the horse to post a bond as required in accordance with paragraph (2); or
        (D) the inability of the Secretary to identify the owner.

    (d) EUTHANASIA OF HORSES-
      (1) EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES- The Secretary or any law enforcement authority charged with enforcing this Act may order or perform the immediate euthanasia of any horse in the field if the horse is injured beyond recovery and suffering irreversibly.
      (2) HORSES BEYOND RECOVERY AND UNPLACEABLE- The Secretary or any law enforcement authority charged with enforcing this Act may order a licensed veterinarian to euthanize any confiscated horse if–
        (A) the confiscated horse is injured, disabled, or diseased beyond recovery; or
        (B) placement at an animal rescue facility or other suitable facility, as described in this section, is not practicable within 90 days of any circumstance described in subsection (c)(3).
      (3) METHOD- In euthanizing a horse under paragraph (2), the Secretary, law enforcement authority charged with enforcing this Act, or a licensed veterinarian conducting the euthanasia shall use a method of euthanasia rated `Acceptable’ for horses in the most recent Report of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Panel on Euthanasia.

    (e) FUNDING OF ANIMAL RESCUE FACILITIES-
      (1) GRANTS- Subject to the availability of appropriated funds, the Secretary shall make grants to animal rescue facilities described in subsection (c)(1)(A) that have given adequate assurances to the Secretary that the facilities are willing to accept horses under this Act.
      (2) PENALTIES, FINES, AND FORFEITED PROPERTY- Amounts received as penalties or fines under this Act, and property forfeited under this Act, shall be used for the care of any live horses seized from violators of this Act and taken into the possession by the United States or placed with an animal rescue facility or other suitable location.

SEC. 7. REPORTS.

    Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and on an annual basis thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on–
      (1) actions taken by the Secretary and other Federal agencies to carry out this Act; and

      (2) the adequacy of resources to carry out this Act.

SEC. 8. EXEMPTIONS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Subject to section 4 and subsection (b), nothing in this Act affects the regulation of horses by a State.

    (b) LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES-
      (1) IN GENERAL- A State or local law enforcement or arresting authority may take such actions as are necessary under section 6 to enforce this Act.
      (2) ENFORCEMENT- A person described in section 3(7)(B) may engage in activities described in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of section 4 solely for the purposes of enforcing this Act.

SEC. 9. REGULATIONS.

    The Secretary shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to carry out this Act.

SEC. 10. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act takes effect on the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

Post Revisions:

There are no revisions for this post.

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