Federal appeals court removes ban on horse slaughter

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The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Friday, Dec. 13, lifted a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter, opening the door for three companies in New Mexico, Iowa and Missouri while an appeal of a lawsuit filed by HSUS, Front Range Equine Rescue and other animal rights organizations proceeds.

Scales In 2006, by eliminating funding for USDA inspections at horse processing facilities, Congress effectively banned horse slaughter. In 2011, Congress restored the inspection funding, but USDA did not approve the first permits for horse processing until summer 2013, making these the first horse processing facilities eligible to operate in the United States since 2007.

In response, the animal rights groups filed a lawsuit in a New Mexico federal court to permanently enjoin inspectors from USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service from carrying out inspections at three horse slaughter facilities, Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa.

The suit alleged violations under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The court entered a temporary restraining order that halted operations at the plants while the merits of the case could be reviewed. The district court rejected the animal rights groups’ argument, which led to the groups appealing the case to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. In November, the 10th Circuit issued a temporary injunction while it reviewed the case.

The 10th Circuit’s order late last week said the animal rights groups had “failed to meet their burden for an injunction pending appeal.” Horse slaughter facilities approved by USDA may now begin operation under the court’s decision.

According to the Associated Press, Blair Dunn, an attorney for Valley Meat and Rains Natural Meats, said the order lifts the emergency status of the case, meaning it will likely be months before a final decision is issued and that the plants are ready to open.  "They are getting ready to go as quickly as they can. It shouldn't take too long. Not more than two weeks," he said.

HSUS said “the fight for America’s horses is not over.”



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corrine wynne    
December, 18, 2013 at 02:39 PM

It still needs stopped. My concerns are with the Internayional food scandal replacing beef witb horsemeat, the Federal Law stopping Pet Foods from being made from horsemeat for thousands of pets dying and having it happen here. It would Destroy consumer confidence in beef, and if its pets foods reshipped to USA killing and making ill petsit will shatter confidence in pet food market. And their humane standards are so bad that we are sinking into the position of being a third world country. I think thats the quickest way to lose the American Agriculture Industry. If any deaths are reorted due to horsemeat the lawsuits will be Unprecidented and Deploy new Laws and Meat Restrictions we have Never dreamed of.

corrine wynne    
December, 18, 2013 at 02:40 PM

It still needs stopped. My concerns are with the Internayional food scandal replacing beef witb horsemeat, the Federal Law stopping Pet Foods from being made from horsemeat for thousands of pets dying and having it happen here. It would Destroy consumer confidence in beef, and if its pets foods reshipped to USA killing and making ill petsit will shatter confidence in pet food market. And their humane standards are so bad that we are sinking into the position of being a third world country. I think thats the quickest way to lose the American Agriculture Industry. If any deaths are reorted due to horsemeat the lawsuits will be Unprecidented and Deploy new Laws and Meat Restrictions we have Never dreamed of.

bill rush    
ok  |  December, 18, 2013 at 05:02 PM

Corrine the sad thang is the cruelty people like you have caused the horse population by closing the slaughterhouses in the United States there has to be a humane and and economically viable way too dispose of old and unwanted horses and as for your scare tactics luckily informed and intelligent people know there is no danger inthe useof horse meat it has Ben used safely for both pets and humans for centuries

Corrine Wynne    
December, 19, 2013 at 01:33 AM

Bill I am sorry but we have a multi-million dollar farm with cattle and horses and we took in many horses and helped people out. We ran the business out of DeKalb, Illinois after continuous string of thefts of horses and we worked hard to get the stench out of the air. Our cattle business is doing extremely well and we would do nothing to risk that the beef market would drop out. The added benefit of not slaughtering horses is that the old, unwanted horses you are not able to grind up and don't think we do not know all to well they do NOT take the blind, severely injured, malnourished, ill, aged, stallions, and completely unruly. We have been blinded to the lies the proslaughter supports have built. We witnessed the issues first hand. We also found the hoof lying on the road of the living horses being hauled to the plant and witnessed the hauler just angry he got stopped on the side of the road because the horses hoof came off and it was bleeding down the highway and trooper stopped him. WE know first hand the treatment of the horses is very bad, and we know all too well the types of issues it causes in communities. Slaughter is packed full of lies about helping and being welfare and a disposal for the infirmed when in fact its what creates the problems. We have much better confidence in meats at this time in this country so its much to our advantage to learn from the problems other countries have had with the scandal because when the consumer confidence is gone, so is the money-we don't need slaughter and that's a fact. The cattle industry already has had its own share of issues. We farm and we raise fruits, and own a vineyard, so we monitor commodities, we cant afford to lose any of them due to confidence issues.

Corrine Wynne    
December, 19, 2013 at 01:43 AM

My son befriended a kill buyer some years ago and many things the man told us that occurred during that time he said he would trade it all back if he could. The abuse, neglect, and cruelties of the kill buyers-stopping on road sides and gouging out a horses eyes, then hitting them with electric cattle prods. What makes you think that packing horses into trailers like sardines without all the proper credentials on their record of medical care, withdrawal periods, and possible illnesses not even being remotely traced. These animals are transported and keep in horrific situations and you really think I am cruel? The changing of the paperwork of horses to make them appear to have valid AGID testing, the lack of proof that they actually own the horses except having bought them that day. The lack of proper withdrawal times on specific drugs. I know, that's all a mute issue and you do not care-but others do. We strive to maintain a proper catalogue of what the cattle receive and we handle our own private horses records carefully but most people do not. Record keeping is essential to public protection and the mere fact you suggest that I am in some way responsible for the overpopulation of horses, first there isn't one, slaughter never ended just a single plant closed in the US and the over eager over breeders kept on breeding when the plant here closed-you would have thought they would have stopped until we could see the way through the economic downturn. However, people thought it would be ideal to blame the others for their lack of care for their horses, in most cases, of abuse and neglect its intentional, many cases were proven to be unfounded. And as old as I am, I have never seen people twist the story so much.

Corrine Wynne    
December, 19, 2013 at 01:43 AM

My son befriended a kill buyer some years ago and many things the man told us that occurred during that time he said he would trade it all back if he could. The abuse, neglect, and cruelties of the kill buyers-stopping on road sides and gouging out a horses eyes, then hitting them with electric cattle prods. What makes you think that packing horses into trailers like sardines without all the proper credentials on their record of medical care, withdrawal periods, and possible illnesses not even being remotely traced. These animals are transported and keep in horrific situations and you really think I am cruel? The changing of the paperwork of horses to make them appear to have valid AGID testing, the lack of proof that they actually own the horses except having bought them that day. The lack of proper withdrawal times on specific drugs. I know, that's all a mute issue and you do not care-but others do. We strive to maintain a proper catalogue of what the cattle receive and we handle our own private horses records carefully but most people do not. Record keeping is essential to public protection and the mere fact you suggest that I am in some way responsible for the overpopulation of horses, first there isn't one, slaughter never ended just a single plant closed in the US and the over eager over breeders kept on breeding when the plant here closed-you would have thought they would have stopped until we could see the way through the economic downturn. However, people thought it would be ideal to blame the others for their lack of care for their horses, in most cases, of abuse and neglect its intentional, many cases were proven to be unfounded. And as old as I am, I have never seen people twist the story so much.

Corrine Wynne    
December, 19, 2013 at 01:51 AM

And Bill I am sure you also complain about the HSUS Lobbying group collecting money as well. Well let me assist you, I am absolutely certain that by your remarks you probably didn't save any animals during the downturn, and I am absolutely certain you didn't donate to places to help the horses suffering be eased in the last 6 years, I am also absolutely certain that you may be proslaughter but you have no idea why anyone would be opposed to abuse en masse to any animals or people. You are probably not donating currently to any place that would help animals, and I bet that you really think you are better than me for having a slaughter the horses opinion. Well I am old but I am not stupid. I have donated to individuals who needed hay bales, grain, and a spot to turn out horses until they got new jobs and didn't charge them a dime. I also donated to local animal welfare groups to make sure they had resources in case animals needed rescued. I also rescued some animals and all on my own dime. I am not the type of person that needs to push people around to help out, in fact, I think that's the worst way to help, so Bill this problem you say I created was actually created by overbreeding paper ponies, that would be what you call numbers that magically get changed on reports to appear larger than the facts support. And if the people who actually bred in the past 6 years hadn't we would be much better off and you wouldn't have to blame me personally. As for small mindedness you might attempt to reach into your pockets and open your barn before you blame others for what you should have done, had you of done the above things then I would believe you may have a point, proslaughter people just complained, bred and complained.

Corrine Wynne    
December, 19, 2013 at 01:56 AM

And Bill Federal Law Banned the use of it in pet foods in the United States for killing thousands of dogs and cats and then it was restricted from chicken feeds for killing chickens and making people ill off the produced eggs. In the 70's a massive lawsuit is what probed the problem and brought the law into effect. In the late 80's Alpo had to settle and bankrupt after killing pets and being found to contain the Horsemeat products... they were forced to remove the products from the shelves, apologize publicly and then had nothing but problems from them on out. As well the Native American's fell ill from horsemeat at the same time of the Federal Lawsuits and the Tribes ruled that they would no longer consume the meats after large numbers of people fell ill. Sorry but you are wrong.

Corrine Wynne    
December, 19, 2013 at 01:58 AM

I may not be a spring chicken but I certainly do remember these things happening and I kept the clippings from the papers when they occurred, it may date my age but I know these things occurred.

Michael J. Marsalek    
Bel Air, Maryland  |  December, 19, 2013 at 09:26 AM

People have been eating horse meat for years for years with very few, if any, problems. Consider that rendering any animal is unpleasant. Consider that nobody ever got mad cow disease from eating horse meat. Consider also that cows and other meat animals are routinely injected with many of the same drugs & hormones that are administered to horses. Beef prices have gone sky high along with all other meat products. If only 3 horse rendering plants go into operation, the plants and the transportation industry that supplies them should be very easy to observe, inspect and regulate inside the US.

Tom    
Texas  |  December, 19, 2013 at 09:40 AM

I ranch for a living and understand both sides of the issue. My thought is that it is much more cruel for an unwanted animal to starve to death than be killed and utilized as food. We don't get rid of our horses who have become to old to work. They live out their lives on the ranch. That is our choice as it is others choice to soap their old horses.

Tom Neff    
SWMO  |  December, 19, 2013 at 09:43 AM

Corrine you are on a rant. No matter how much gibberish you throw out there it isn’t going to stick. You post regularly and we are aware of your stance. Bill is correct, when the time comes, and if you have spent time on a farm or owned a dog you know that it always does. A horse is not something you put in a shoe-box and bury under the maple in the back yard. No matter the love and attachment. Maybe you should share with us how you humanely “put down”, assuming you don’t let them die suffering, your horses. What do you do with the carcass? I don’t think this is a get rich quick scheme for people, but there is a demand for a humane and economical way to part with these animals.

Corrine Wynne    
December, 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

The vet came out and put down a 19 yr old horse a month ago after two years of illness and we rented a backhoe for the hard ground, we watered the topsoil for about 7 mins then we dug down deep and wide enough for burial and we put the horse in the ground. WE have over the years contacted Julie to ascertain for future burial purposes on that particular land where utilities are and are not-we already know the requirements for burial and the process to put a horse down was 140.00 total, the rental was 200.00 and we then used the back hoe for some other work and cleaned and returned it. I am assuming that you are going to complain about the amount of money, or time, or effort. The fact is people don't have to spend a lot to put one down. And for your information we don't call a horse a carcass. As well we also found out there are people who would loan equipment if we had asked. The vet stated he wished more people would just inquire instead of posting outrageous sums of money online.

Dg    
DC  |  December, 19, 2013 at 04:11 PM

Completely agree, Tom. Corrine, I've seen you post on here before - your rants are exhausting and driven by misinformation and misplaced emotion.

bill rush    
ok  |  December, 19, 2013 at 06:51 PM

corrine you have proven my point how people like you and your misinformation and flat out lies are part of the problem I am a rancher and also in the hay business and over the last few years of drought I have helped many people feed their horses when they could not afford to feed them themselves I care for my livestock with every concern as to their health and welfare but without even knowing me you make me out to be some vicious animal hater but in fact I have taken in several horses that so called animal lovers like you have let go to the point of starving because they didn't want them to go to slaughter God gave man dominion over the animals and with that comes a responsibility to care for them and I do not take that responsibility litely

bill rush    
ok  |  December, 19, 2013 at 07:04 PM

Oh and by the way you say you are in the cattle business well do you know those cabs you raise do end up being slaughtered at some time in their life and what do you do with your old and unproductivecowsandbulls just curious

vicki    
Illiniois  |  December, 19, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Tom, you are to be commended for retiring your horses after their years of service to you. Since you are a rancher, I assume that you aware that only animals that have been raised as food animals should enter the food chain. I assume you are also aware that in the US, we have no tracking system for horses as we do with livestock. There are no medical histories. If a horse has had one dose of any of the two dozen banned medications, they are ineligible for slaughter. How are you going to get the medical records for horses that have had multiple owners without a tracking system? Livestock can be traced back to the farm they were born should there be contamination. With US horses, you can't trace them back past the hauler. Surely you aren't suggesting that the food chain be used as a disposal service. Slaughter is not an disposal option, it is a business to produce food. Any animal that has not been raised and regulated as a food animal should enter the food chain.

morgansinkc    
Kansas City  |  December, 20, 2013 at 12:33 AM

Bill, we still have horses going to slaughter in the U.S. -- the horses are just going to Canada and Mexico. The few who want horse slaughter keep putting out false information. The GAO report was fraudulent: http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2011/12/06/horse-slaughterhouse-investigation-sounds-food-safety-and-cruelty-alarms/ As we all know, no slaughter house wants old or sick animals, they want the young and healthy ones. Horses are classified as non-food companion animals by the FDA and there is no way to know which horses have had which drugs, in what quantities, for how long. This is dangerous to consume: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101315112/horsenotfood.png

Craig A. Moore    
Billings, MT  |  December, 20, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Prove it Corrine with the facts and not by "My say so". And why are you acting like you are in the US when it shows you are in the UK?

morgansinkc    
December, 25, 2013 at 08:15 AM

This is why horses are non-food companion animals and why horse slaughter will never be accepted in the U.S. http://www.wqow.com/story/24293056/2013/12/23/strangers-band-together-to-help-osseo-girl-grieving-losses

morgansinkc    
missouri  |  January, 08, 2014 at 02:01 PM

Bill Rush, you are sadly misinformed. U.S. horse meat has not been used in dog or cat food since the 1970s, because ivermectin was killing collies. Horse hooves have not been used in Elmers' glue for decades. Birth control lasts for four years in horses now. If these plants open, which I hope that they will not, they need to label this with a disclaimer such as "this product may contain drugs which are harmful to humans." I don't know about you, but I do not want birth control in our water supply.


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