After a federal judge gave the okay late last week for horse slaughter to start up again in the United States, slaughterhouses could resume operations as soon as well, right now. A U.S. District judge based in Albuquerque dismissed a lawsuit brought by animal welfare groups that didn’t want horse slaughter to be legal in this country and also denied a permanent injunction that would’ve kept a company from reopening its slaughterhouse.
Groups including the Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups say federal officials didn’t put meat companies in New Mexico and another in Iowa through the right amount of studies before granting them permits to operate.
This ruling will allow the New Mexico company to use its slaughterhouses to process horses and export the meat for human or animal consumption, which could start this week, an attorney for the company said.
“We are pleased,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We think the right legal conclusion was reached.”
The Humane Society is far from pleased, pledging to appeal the ruling.
“With today’s court ruling and the very real prospect of plants resuming barbaric killing of horses for their meat in the states, we expect the American public to recognize the urgency of the situation and to demand that Congress take action,” Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the organization, said in a written statement.
Also in the horses’ corner — former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who launched the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife along with Robert Redford. He opposes the slaughter of what he calls an “iconic” animal.
“Our next course of action is to file an appeal, a full rush with Congress to see if we can pass a prohibition, and to concentrate on more state by state efforts to stop this,” Richardson told USA Today. “The odds are not that good about stopping this, but it’s not over.”
New Mexico judge dismisses lawsuit, OKs horse slaughter to resume[Los Angeles Times]
Ex-N.M. governor vows to halt horse slaughters [USA Today]