The U.S. House and Senate Can Save America’s Forgotten Equines from Slaughter With the Farm Bill

Rescued by Diamond Bar Ranch. Mare, Wednesday, and kill pen born, Athena, upon arrival at the quarantine barn.


The American people have the opportunity, right now, to tell our representatives that we don’t want this. We don’t want our horses to be slaughtered. We need them to ensure the SAFE Act passes.”
— Loretta Risley, Founder and President, Diamond Bar Ranch

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, May 22, 2024 / -- The Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act, SAFE Act, is a pending bill that will protect American horses from being transported to Canada and Mexico where they would be be slaughtered for human consumption. The bill currently has enough Co-sponsors in the House of Representatives to ensure its passage there.

The slaughter pipeline spares none. Last year alone, victims included thousands of reservation horses, BLM incentive program horses and burros, racehorses and other domestic horses including newborns. The equine protection community is nationwide. Congress has not protected American horses, their owners who want to safely re-home their horse, and all the country’s rescues for over 20 years, despite public support for bill passage.

Diamond Bar Ranch is no stranger to equine slaughter in America. The organization established itself with a focus on saving horses destined for slaughter. DBR is a 501C3 charity in Oklahoma. Founder and President, Loretta Risley, Ed.D, MSN, RN, says she became a rescue by accident when she began looking for a horse for herself. However, during her search, she discovered the cruel reality of American equine slaughter. This discovery prompted her to take action. Risley began working to rescue horses from this fate.

With foaling season here, she is diligently working to get as many pregnant mares out of an area kill pen as possible. These mares are at risk of being slaughtered for their meat. The pregnant mares are often in poor health. Their owners have neglected them and then sold them at auctions. Auctions are a leading source of horses for kill buyers. Many kill pens have heavily pregnant mares, on the verge of foaling. DBR makes it part of their mission to rescue these mares. DBR provides them with the care and support they need during the rest of their pregnancy. Risley works closely with veterinarians to provide proper medical care and nutrition. This helps ensure a safe and caring environment for them to give birth.

Risley says, “I often get asked why so many pregnant mares end up in the slaughter pipeline. This industry promotes unethical behavior is my response. Many auctions actually sell horses by the pound. Sadly, people without regard for anything but their wallet see these auctions as opportunities to make more money by breeding mares then selling them when they are close to delivering their foal. People do this year round. Its not done just during traditional foaling season.”

“Almost every Bureau of Land Management mare we have rescued has been unhandled and pregnant. Most come from ‘meat auctions’. Frequently, right after the ownership title has cleared. If this isn’t evidence of a broken BLM system I really don’t know what is. However, it’s not just BLM mares that end up at these per pound meat auctions. People send all breeds and ages to these type of auctions. When you save from the slaughter pipeline, you should expect to have the mare pregnancy checked because there is a good chance she is carrying a foal. The SAFE Act would eliminate breeding simply to make more money at slaughter.”

Cats, dogs and horses live their lives as companion animals in America. The connection between humankind and horses is long. Yet, horses are bought by kill buyers in the United States, then sold as meat animals, after they are transported across the border into Canada and Mexico. Dogs, cats, and equines would be included in Section 12515 of the 2018 Farm Bill if the Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act, the SAFE Act, passes. The very simple action by Congress of adding ‘and equines’ to the existing wording changes the fate of America’s slaughter bound horses. The rescue and advocacy communities can focus their efforts on homing these horses and burros with this critical wording change when equine slaughter for human consumption stops.

The United States Congress can protect American horses from the brutal horse-meat trade. An excerpt from the June 19th, 2023 press release issued by Senator Menendez’s office about the SAFE Act reads, “Although the practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption is currently illegal in the United States, the ban is temporary and subject to annual congressional review and no federal law exists to prohibit the transport of horses across America’s borders for slaughter in Canada or Mexico. The lawmakers hope to include the SAFE Act as part of the Farm Bill when it is considered by Congress later this year.” Extending the Farm Bill into 2024 gave the SAFE Act more time to be passed.

Special interest groups have a heavy hand in federal equine policy. The SAFE Act came close to moving to the House of Representatives for a full vote, where it had the number of co-sponsors to pass during the 117th Congress, only to be stalled by special interest groups.

The equine rescue community just learned the SAFE Act is not included in the initial Farm Bill draft. They’re calling on all equine protection supporters to contact their House and Senate lawmakers to ask for their help ensuring this Act gets included in the Farm Bill.

Concerned citizens wishing to support the SAFE Act should reach out to their elected officials immediately. Ask your lawmakers to support the Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act, the SAFE Act. The bills are referenced as H.R. 3475 in the House and the Senate bill is S.B. 2037. It only takes a few minutes to make the call and help American wild and domestic horses, burros and donkeys. Senate and Representative contact information is shown below. The one-click action link below will send a message to your Representative and both Senators immediately after you submit the action request.


Diamond Bar Ranch invites the public to learn more about them. The rescue is at 1301 S. Choctaw Road, Luther, Oklahoma, 73054. Their contact number is 314-359-9577. The website is Please visit their Facebook page called Diamond Bar Ranch an Equine Rescue & Sanctuary-501c-3. Risley adds, “we strive to provide a safe environment to learn about horses, specifically slaughter bound horses.”

Bill Information

Bill numbers: House bill is H.R. 3475 and the Senate bill is S.B. 2037

These links provide lawmaker contact information:

House of Representatives

United States Senate

The public can help make a difference. Readers are asked to take a few moments to help the country’s rescue community.


American Equine Awareness provided this news piece.
Diamond Bar Ranch provided the photos and videos.

Donna Brorein
American Equine Awareness
+1 770-870-7589
email us here

Slaughter orphans, Ziva and Tad, ask you to watch their video to learn more.