Horse Slaughterhouses Could Resume Operations This Week

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.”

Previously: Federal Legislation Would Ban Export Of Horses For Slaughter, Protect Public From “Toxic Meat”

New Mexico judge dismisses lawsuit, OKs horse slaughter to resume[Los Angeles Times]
Ex-N.M. governor vows to halt horse slaughters [USA Today]

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  1. dan2112 says:

    This is somewhat near and dear to me, as I live in New Mexico and have relatives in Roswell… This is truely a NIMBY (not in my backyard) case where those who stand against it, don’t seem to grasp the concept..

    No one likes the idea of slaughtering horses, especially me.. I grew up with horses and have a lot of love and respect for them.

    That said, in this day and age when the economy continues to swallow up small farms and ranches, owners must often make hard choices about their livestock, especially if they have outlived their usefullness as working animals.

    Decrying the slaughterhouse is a feel-good measure… It bears no real impact other than to rob a small city of jobs it desperately needs… Why? Because if it doesn’t open, it will do NOTHING to stop the slaughter of these horses.. Auctions are held around New Mexico and west Texas where horses are bought and sold for slaughter.. Most of them are then sent to Mexico for processing. If it’s going to happen anyway, why not keep it in-state where it can happen under the watchful eye of government regulators who can at least make sure the process is being handled to required cleanliness standards.

    The ethics of horse slaughter are not at play here, despite animal rights group’s best attempts to make it seem so. This is simply an attempt to sweep this under the rug and pretend that if it isn’t happening here, then all the horses will be saved.

    Having former Governor Richardson as a spokesperson isn’t really helping. His popularity here waned quickly after he left office.

  2. rohlinmt says:

    According to the reports I read, slaughterhouses pay between $250-$350 per horse. That doesn’t seem like enough money for a farmer to go that route. Horses are tools on the farm with an emotional attachment, just like a tractor. You won’t see many farmers saying “sure, for $250, take my old, beat up tractor and turn it into spare parts.”

    • MarthaGaill says:

      But scrap metal can be reused. There’s not a lot about a lame horse that is reusable so it goes to stand that they wouldn’t be worth as much. And considering it’s expensive to feed and keep a horse, it’s probably more a money saving measure.

    • EducationalGeek says:

      Exactly, working animals should not be subject to this.

  3. PhillyDom says:

    When I see the Humane Society, Richardson and Redford trying to shut down cow, pig, and poultry slaughterhouses, then I’ll take them seriously on horses. Not before.