Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) voted to protect the individual property rights of American ranchers and farmers and send a message that Congress does not have the right to dictate how they do business and care for their animals. Congressman Poe voted against H.R. 503, a bill that would limit the rights of horse owners by banning horse slaughter in the United States. Despite Poes efforts, the measure passed 263-146.

I generally oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption in our country or any other, said Poe. However, this bill does not address that singular issue. Like many bills before Congress, there are various other items that are included in a bill that alter the main purpose. This bill encroaches on the property rights of American farmers and ranchers and eliminates their right to decide what is best for the animal when their quality of life has deteriorated. I appreciate that this is an emotional issue, but a closer look at the consequences of this bill does not ultimately benefit the animal and the taxpayer should not be forced to foot the bill for their disposal.

Steve Pringle, Legislative Affairs Director for the Texas Farm Bureau, applauded Congressman Poes vote, The Congress demonstrated on Thursday just how out of touch it is with agriculture and rural America. Fortunately, a majority of the members of the Texas Delegation, and specifically Congressman Ted Poe, have listened to reason and facts, and voted to oppose H.R. 503."

H.R. 503 would make it illegal for a horse owner to sell their animal to a slaughter house. However, consequences of this policy would cause horse farmers to prolong the lives of sick and feeble animals, or worse release them to fend for themselves due to the ongoing costs of caring for the animal. In addition, reports show that eliminating processing as an end-of-life option will flood horse adoption farms and leave many horses starved, neglected or abandoned.