Trenton–Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Ocean County Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer that bans the slaughter or sale of horses for human consumption was signed into law today by Governor Chris Christie.
Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Mercer, introduced, A-2023, after a federal ban was lifted last fall that reverses a 2006 decision by Congress to withdraw funding to inspect plants that butchered horses – effectively banning horse consumption.
“New Jerseydoes not eat horse meat and our horses will not be taken from the stable to a table,” Dancer said. “The horse is NewJersey’s state animal and we appreciate these magnificent animals for their grace and beauty. We do not want them butchered or sold to slaughterhouses in our communities for human consumption.”
The law prohibits anyone from knowingly slaughtering or selling a horse for human consumption. Violators would be guilty of a disorderly persons offense with penalties up to $100 and 30 days imprisonment plus civil fines between $500 and $1,000 for each horse slaughtered or each carcass or meat product sold. The penalties and fines are consistent with the current state law in effect that bans the slaughter of man’s best friend, the dog, for human consumption of dog meat.
Although there is strong bipartisan support in Congress to resume the federal ban through the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, Dancer said the Governor’s action makesNew Jerseya leader on this issue.
“New Jerseyis taking the lead on this issue to make sure horses aren’t taken from the pasture to the plate,” Dancer said. “There are several organizations that provide adoption homes for horses, rather than sending them to slaughterhouses for their meat.”