Ten years ago, the last horse slaughter plant operating in the United States closed its doors.

This September, however, an amendment set to reach the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives will determine the fate of America’s horses and whether taxpayers will be funding the return of this cruel, unnecessary and predatory industry.

In a letter to Congress, the Humane Society Legislative Fund and The Humane Society of the United States, along with William Shatner, Kaley Cuoco, Willie Nelson, Jill Rappaport, Nikki Reed, Sebastian Roche, Ian Somerhalder, Arielle Kebbel and others, urged policy makers to pass an amendment in the Agriculture Appropriations bill that prohibits the use of federal funds to inspect horse slaughter facilities.

“Horse slaughter is a dark and predatory industry. It has never provided a solution for unwanted horses or abuse and encourages overbreeding by providing an artificial disposal option for irresponsible breeders and owners,” wrote the group. “When horse slaughter existed in this country prior to being shut down in 2007, the USDA documented a variety of abuses, so there is no reason to believe that bringing slaughter back to the U.S. will make the process humane. It is a brutal end for animals we have trained to trust us.”

U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., offered the bi-partisan measure to block spending to inspect the slaughter plants in the upcoming FY18 Agriculture Appropriations package.

“This country was built on the back of horses and Americans view horses as companion animals and athletes, not food animals,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Americans do not want their hard-earned tax dollars funding slaughterhouse inspections for a product that Americans don’t eat and a process they deplore. Americans like their horses alive and well, not hung upside down in a slaughter plant.”

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