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]