Federal Appeals Court Temporarily Stops Horse Slaughterhouses From Reopening

It seems like only last week that two plants were gearing up to reopen their slaughterhouses to horses, and here they are with those plans on hold again. That’s because it was only last week that a judge ruled they could open again, but yesterday a federal appeals court put the kibosh on that.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver issued a temporary injunction to bar the Department of Agriculture from inspecting plants in New Mexico and Missouri, both of which were getting ready to reopen after last week’s ruling, reports the Associated Press.

Without inspectors making sure the slaughterhouses are operating how they should, they can’t go about the business of slaughtering horses for export to be consumed by humans or animals as feed.

The Human Society is behind the appeal, which it filed right after the federal judge dismissed its lawsuit last week.

“Horse slaughter is a predatory, inhumane business, and we are pleased to win another round in the courts to block killing of these animals on American soil for export to Italy and Japan,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “Meanwhile, we are redoubling our efforts in Congress to secure a permanent ban on the slaughter of our horses throughout North America.”

A spokesman representing both the New Mexico company and the Missouri plant would rather focus on the temporary nature of the order.

“We know the 10th Circuit will follow the law and allow my clients to proceed as soon as our side is considered,” he said. “The plaintiffs have misstated the law, the facts and the science. We look forward to a quick decision when the facts are considered and the District Court’s careful decision is reviewed.”

U.S. federal appeals court halts horse slaughter [Associated Press]

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  1. SingleMaltGeek says:

    I don’t get it. Pigs are as smart or smarter than horses. (Horses can be pretty stupid when the herd instinct kicks in.) Why isn’t anyone up in arms about the pig slaughter? Oh, right, horses are cute and we like them more. I don’t see a difference that’s not based on personal preference/prejudice.

    Please don’t show this comment to my daughter.

    • MissPurdy says:

      Good point. We also currently have no problem shipping unwanted horses to Canada to be slaughtered. While I don’t think we need to let another brutal industry such as horse slaughter to start up again in the U.S., the focus should be on the horse racing industry. Their horrible acts of abuse and complete disregard for the welfare of the horses that no longer have any value to the sport is deplorable.

      • SingleMaltGeek says:

        Exactly. If a horse can no longer work and the owner isn’t willing to feed and house them, what do we expect to happen differently if they have to be shipped thousands of miles instead of hundreds? The decisions that lead up to that are unfortunate, but they are also beside the point, as none of that will be affected by whether these particular slaughterhouses are open or not.

        This is just a way for people to feel good about ignoring the harder choices, such as how we treat the animals we use for labor and food.

    • C0Y0TY says:

      Horses have better publicity.

    • cvee says:

      I think we’re a little too logical. You really need to channel the pure emotion of the horse loving public.

  2. CommonC3nts says:

    I also dont get why the Humane Society is wasting donation money on fighting a slaughter house.
    This is the not what people donate for. This is abuse of funds.
    As long as the animals are not tortured who cares.
    We slaughter cows, pigs, turkeys, goats, etc. every day. If people want to eat horses then what is the problem???

  3. dan2112 says:

    Meanwhile, the Humane Society turns its collective head while the same horses are sold at auction here anyway and shipped to Mexico…