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Federal Government Wants to Skip Preliminaries in Horse Slaughter Challenge

Government attorneys representing USDA’s top three food safety officials say it’s time to end the court battle that has temporarily banned horse slaughter in the U.S. They’ve asked the U.S. District Court in New Mexico to move immediately to an expedited hearing and ruling on the merits of the case.

This would eliminate the next step that had been anticipated in the case – a hearing on whether to grant the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction. They had already won a temporary restraining order.

And, in another motion, Robert G. Dreher, acting assistant U.S. attorney general, has asked the court for permission to file a so-called “surreply” to respond “to Plaintiff’s numerous accusations that Federal Defendants and the United States have acted in bad faith in opposing Plaintiffs’ motion to modify the temporary restraining order and objections to Magistrate Judge Scott’s imposition of a bond requirement ….”

In his request, Dreher cites a dozen specific instances where the plaintiffs, led by the Humane Society of the United States, made accusations that he claims are “unfounded and untrue, and easily refuted. In one, the Plaintiff’s say the U.S. hopes to divert funds from ‘important animal rescue and sheltering’ and ‘other public interest cases challenging federal agency abuses.’

“Since the sole focus of the Plaintiff’s reply brief is to make new accusations that attack the motivations and integrity of the United States, Federal Defendants should be afforded the opportunity to set the record straight by filing a surreply,” Dreher’s motion continues.

The federal defendants are U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen, and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Administrator Al Almanza.

They were sued by HSUS and other animal and horse protection groups for giving “grants of inspection” to two small horse meatpacking plants, one in Iowa and the other in New Mexico, that planned to open during the first week of August. However, a federal judge in New Mexico issued a temporarily restraining order on Aug. 2 stopping both companies from going forward.

While winning the temporary retaining order, the plaintiffs have strenuously objected to the bond imposed on them by a federal magistrate. The bond, almost $500,000 a month, is intended to reimburse the horse-slaughter companies if the plaintiffs lose the case.

The assistant AG says an expedited hearing on the merits will reduce the “burden and exposure” of both the plaintiffs and the two companies.

While a hearing on the preliminary injunction was promised within 30 days of the Aug. 2 temporary restraining order, a date has not yet been made public.

© Food Safety News
  • kathyh

    In The End, The Bottom Line is..Horses Are Not Bred, Raised and Tracked As Food Producing Animals in This Country. The Horses That Go To Slaughter Are Gathered Randomly By Kill Buyers That Contract With The Plants. Their only priority is To meet Quota. The KB’s know little if anything about the health/drug histories of the Horses in their loads.

    No other commercially sold meat is sourced in this manner in the USA, Horses Should Not have been and Should Not Be The Exception To The Food Safety Standards and Protocols For Every Other Meat Produced in This Country.

    • Bobby

      So cattle are not bought and sold at sale barns for slaughter purposes? There are kill buys who go to sale barn for pigs, sheep, cattle, and goats and they have no history on those animals also. I know this because I go to sale barns on a regular basis and personally know those kill buyers.

      • MorganLvr

        There animals you mention are FOOD animals and are raised under strict regulations. Horses are NOT food animals and the FDA permits the makers of horse products to use substances which they expressly BAN from ANY use in ANY food animal. If horse products were used on these food animals, they wouldn’t be safe to eat either.

        Health records for food animals are kept by their producers from birth to slaughter. The kill buyers have nothing to do with it.

        No such records are kept for horses, because unlike food animals, horses are not raised with the intention of sending them to slaughter. Even if the kill buyers cared about health records – which they don’t – such records do not even exist.

        It’s way past time you people who don’t know anything about this situation either educate yourselves or stop displaying your ignorance in public. Whether an animal is a food animal or not is NOT a matter of OPINION.

  • Kelly Blevins

    Such fraud and lies provided by the Federal Government. They fail to mention humane slaughter laws of one shot one blow. Temple Grandin has already said at this time there is no ( Humane ) way to slaughter a horse.What a bunch of special interest arse kissing politicians and federal Government agents we have in the USA. Since when did America become so unconcerned with the health of others. The USDA is so corrupt they already turn their heads to the humane slaughter laws and we as a society are allowing this horror for animals who unwillingly sacrifice everything so humans can survive to be horrifically treated is just disgusting.

    • Maxlynn

      Correct. There are only 2 ways to euthanize an equine – (i) to put them down with drugs administered by a vet, or (ii) a bullet to the head – no other way. PS people, it’s the US Congress and Senate that allowed this. The reason this is happening is because in Dec. 2011 Senators Kohl, Blunt and Kingston engineered a closed door deal whereby they held up a Senate appropriations bill until a government shut down loomed and demanded that language allowing horse slaughter be added. Their senatorial opinion was that slaughtering horses takes care of the “unwanted horse problem” and that it was a humanitarian way to take care of old and sick horses no one wanted. Let me also point out that the Fallon Slaughter Auction posts a sign that says it will not accept any horses that are old, sick or lame – in other words they only want top notch, young, healthy horses. So our Senate passed the buck and said “We’ll deal with the fall out later”. Well, here we are – dealing with it. Spending thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars fighting to open horse slaughter facilities that 80% of the American public DOES NOT WANT. You can read all about it here http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2011/12/21/how-many-congressmen-does-it-take-to-screw-a-horse/

      • Diogenes22

        Actually, it takes on an average of three bullets perhaps more to cleanly kill a horse with a gun. Tim Sappinton’s horse, Justice, was killed with an unexpected bullet and the betrayed horse still flailed on the ground and filled with adrenalin. He got lucky as the horse was in a home setting and unafraid because he trusted the executioner. Doesn’t work that way at a slaughterhouse. The horses know what is happening to them the minute they smell the stench miles before they reach the slaughterhouse. It is impossible to slaughter a horse humanely – even at home by a betrayer.

        • susanmeanslily

          You don’t know what you are talking about.

      • walnut

        Strong opinions all around. If you can responsibly euthanize a horse with a bullet to the head, then you can responsibly slaughter/harvest them, right? The meat does not have to be for human consumption. There are lots of uses for horse-derived products from an animal that has lived out its healthful life. I love horses and it makes me sad to see an equine life end but a dilapidated horse, even one that is being cared for, is not a pleasant sight, just as with a decrepit dog or cat. An owner can choose to administer as many life-extending procedures as he or she wants, but an option for a humane ending other than euthanasia and sending the carcass to the landfill is reasonable for our society. Not everyone has to participate, we’re only talking about having a federally inspection option for controlled processing of horse products.

        • Boy are you misinformed.

        • MorganLvr

          There are virtually NO uses for slaughtered horses except human consumption – which is what ALL these horses are being slaughtered for. We do not use horse meat in pet food any more and haven’t for decades. It isn’t safe for pets for the same reasons it isn’t safe for humans. Zoos are also turning to other meat sources for the very same reason.

          You have NO idea of what the horse slaughter industry is like. Since no one farms horses, where do you think the hundreds of thousands of horses that go to slaughter every year are coming from? No, they are NOT old, neglected, crippled, starved, abandoned horses. The slaughter plants and even some auctions will NOT accept such animals. This is not going for dog food, get that through your head NOW. It’s slaughter for human food, and only healthy, sound, meaty horses need apply.

          That stuff about a place for old, worn out horses to go is pure pro-slaughter propaganda – in other words, LIES to make horse slaughter seem necessary, when those horses are not even accepted. And, especially in the desert southwest, horses that are rejected by the Mexican horse slaughter plants – and there are thousands – are abandoned by the killers who brought them there. This is where the oft reported “abandoned horses” are coming from – not owners but the kill buyers themselves. Slaughter doesn’t reduce abandonment – it causes it.

          So, where do all the young, healthy, sound, fat horses that go to slaughter come from, given that NONE of them were raised for this purpose? They come from everywhere and anywhere a kill buyer can get his hands on them – and it doesn’t matter how. There is a reason why horse slaughter is referred to as “predatory.” The kill buyers are predators – they misrepresent themselves to sellers, they buy the horses at auctions that uninformed owners bring there horses to, believing their good horse will get a good home. After all, only old, useless horses go to slaughter, right? These people are utterly horrified if they learn their horses went to kill buyers – and the killers get the horses they want because they are the auctioneer’s best customers, so naturally they are “taken care of.” Good horses that should have – and probably would have – gone to good homes are instead obtained by the killers because the auctioneer sees to that no matter how many others are bidding against them.

          Then there is outright theft – more than a non-horse owner would ever believe. And the closer you are to the plant, the more danger your horses are in. Ask someone who’s been there – like me. I lived between the two horse slaughter plants that were in Texas for 15 years. During that time, four of my own personal friends had horses stolen and butchered. The situation was so bad the state tried to find ways to help horse owners protect their horses. Nothing helped except shutting those houses of horror down.

          Before that shutdown happened though, many horse owners – including me – had fled the state because it was the only way to protect our horses. When they come in the barn and steal the horse next to yours, and the one just across the barn aisle and another a few stalls down, you don’t give them another shot at yours.

          Even now, with no plants on American soil, it’s so bad informed horse owners are terrified if they have to sell a horse, because there is just NO way you can protect them from ending up in the slaughter pipeline. Every horse is just one bad sale from the kill floor.

          All this so foreign horse slaughter plants can make money. Why?

  • vickysecho

    They need to include knowingly, wilillingly and negligently allowing a system that promotes and defends terrorism of a human food chain by allowing unregulated adulterated stolen horses to enter a food chain. And then there are all the deceptive trade practices….

  • crookedstick

    I am a NM resident. I am very concerned about the effect of Valley Meat opening, especially, looking at the horrible conditions there when it operated as a Beef Plant. NM Environment Dept opened a forum for Public comments. I researched the effect it could have on the Pecos Water shed. 450 comments were made. Therefore, a Public meeting will be held in Roswell. This shou

    • Maxlynn

      You are totally correct to be concerned. Prior horse slaughter facilities were constantly violating federal and state ordinances and seriously harmed the water and ecosystems of the towns in which they were located. If these facilities open these town will face the same problems and spend ridiculous amounts of $ to try and shut them down. You can read about the horror that Paula Bacon’s TX town, Kaufman, faced at http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2012/01/10/texas-mayor-paula-bacon-kicks-some-tail/
      It was gruesome, believe me. The town could not afford to litigate because there were so many violations.

    • Lori Hackman

      Great job for doing your research! I lived 20 miles from the now closed Cavel International, DeKalb, IL. Even though it was a brand-new facility, built specifically for horse slaughter and had a ‘state of the art’ wastewater filtration system, it was always out of wastewater compliance and had many violations that were never addressed or fines paid for. Much more info on Cavel and the other former horse slaughterhouses in the US here: http://www.horsefund.org/horse-slaughter-comes-to-town-part-1.php

  • Barbara Leonard

    This government is just begging for a war from within…..and they’re gonna get one. What is wrong with this government? Over 80% of taxpayers do NOT want horse slaughter or shipping to Mexico or Canada for slaughter. Here’s how you can help. I’m not very good at posting links, but you can go to Habitat For Horses and join the millions of the rest of us by taking the pledge and BOYCOTTING ALL BEEF until the SAFE Act is passed.

    • old cowboy

      Our family has been avoiding beef for several years now, too darn expensive. We also only eat home grown hogs and chickens. Since we butcher our own, we’ve really acquired a taste for cheval. You should try it. And there are no drug residues in these horses.

      • Maxlynn

        If you believe that horse meat is safe I have a bridge I’d like to sell you….

      • Diogenes22

        And how much adrenalin do you consume with your cheval? For the sake of your betrayed horses not much I hope, but since it is literally impossible to kill a horse without it filling with adrenalin as it dies, I expect my wishes and your lives are in jeopardy.

      • neicey22

        Cheval! Why don’t you move to France! Americans call it what it is, horsemeat! Maybe you’d like to endorse dog and cat meat, after all I hear it’s good.

    • oceangirl

      sounds like a pure vegan activist comment… I guess you donae to H$U$ on a regualr basis, and must be one of their “11 million” members… Oh, wait. They don’t HAVE “11 mission members… based on how many calenders, “freebies” and mailings they send out… another lie.

      The “taxpayers” that do not want horse slaughter have bought into or been misinformed by H$U$ and it’s subsidiary companies; have been misinformed by the animal rights activist vegan community. If people CHOOSE to eat vegan, vegetarian… that’s FINE. Just dont’ force it down MY throat. Don’t force YOUR CHOICE on me or others.

      • Diogenes22

        What are you talking about? She is asking you to boycott beef, because the beef industry supports horse slaughter. She is not demanding anything, particularly that you become a Vegan.

        Based on what you have to say about HSUS, it might be a good idea for you to visit bermanexposed.org

        We, 80% of us, look at horses and see the perfection of beauty, intelligence, speed, grace, knowing, and spirituality. We are “Horse Lovers” and proud of it.

        And few, if any of us, give a damn about what you eat. I just hope you have plenty of Obamacare so the health cost of your beef-eating medical bills will be on you and not on the taxpayer.

      • bibliophile

        I do this every once in a while. As a mental health professional, I urge people to ignore inflammatory statements that are irrelevant to the discussion and have the effect of taking the conversation off track. “Oceangirl” is an example of someone looking for attention by having the equivalent of a temper tantrum on a website where she knows people have a certain interest or value system in opposition to her statements. Temper tantrums are best ignored.

        • Maxlynn

          Then the immature who throws the temper tantrum should really just stay out of it. There was no meaningful information there and no one was trying to force views on her.

      • Barbara Leonard

        I am not vegan or vegitarian, although I’ve not bought beef for over a year to protest the WELFARE ranchers out West and their plan to make wild horses extinct. Will be happy to continue my boycott until the SAFE Act is passed. BTW, I am not a member of HSUS although I do support them fighting horse slaughter and fighting for our wild horses. And, my dear, you are the one misinformed….by the pro-slaughter idiots…and, yes, they are idiots. We threw Wallis out of MO twice and we will do it again. The first time she was here, she lied so much that a local attorney sent Wallis’ MO attorney a letter warning of lawsuits for misrepresentation. And, BTW, I do contribute a lot of money toward rescueing horses…..horses that had owners that didn’t have the moral fiber to be responsible for their horses. Are you Sue Wallis in disguise, cause you should just like her!

      • MorganLvr

        You are either a troll or an idiot. No one had to inform me – I lived through the last time horse slaughter plants were here, and I had to leave me home town and home state to get away from them to protect my horse from being stolen and butchered.

        The pro-slaughterphiles are forcing THEIR choice on US, you brain dead smuckl! They steal our horses, they lie to horse sellers – the killers don’t care where they get their horses and they don’t care whether they are safe for humans to eat or not.

        I am NOT Vegan and I never will be. I don’t believe animals have “rights.” I DO believe that humans have responsibilities though – and one of them is to take care of the animals they choose to own in life AND death.

        I’ve SEEN horse slaughter and I KNOW what it’s like. You know NOTHING because you only get your “information” from Sue Wallis and Rick Berman. Your post is absolutely copy/paste from their horse slaughter propaganda playbook – right down to the childish dollar signs in the name of the HSUS.

        I can’t help but laugh, no matter how mad you creeps make me. If you only know how YOU have been manipulated and fooled! We come to OUR opinion through personal experience. You get yours from professional lie-for-pay flacks like Rick Berman. God!

        YOU are the ones forcing your opinion not only on horse owners, but the majority of Americans who reject horse slaughter. WE have a few rights too!

        Tip: We own horses. Animal rights radicals do NOT believe in owning ANY animal. You really need to do some research of your own, or do they pay you to post their drivel?

  • crookedstick

    Not be forced down out our throats. The public meeting must be held, it is scheduled for the 3rd week in October.

  • Clearly we have been told by our POTUS that he does not support horse slaughter and the same statement could be said as well for Secretary Tom Vilsack. Instead of allowing this case to run its true course, our government is trying to ram this issue through, short cutting a very important process in our American Jurisprudence? What is wrong with this? This issue is truly about food safety, and needs to be dealt with surely on a more open and honest way through the court system. Pressuring groups that are only trying to change this issue through the courts is the only real way to expose this cruel practice once and for all. If that is what the government is concerned about, then it is high time that this practice be exposed to the public once and for all. With the recent scandal of the Shoshone-Paiute tribe shipping toxic horses to slaughter into Mexico to feed “poor mexican citizens” with meat filled with Mercury (offshoot of gold mining that is polluting all water on their reservation) or the Navajo sending their horses to slaughter that are filled with Uranium, Arsenic (mining interests have so polluted the water that they have to haul their water to livestock, and people) this needs to be exposed once and for all.

  • Darrin Weimert

    That’s why we get our beef done at a local kosher plant. Does anyone realize what animals we raise for food and why??? Its all because they are slow, or cant fly, or aren’t aggressive to humans. grand design i say… Genius!
    Then again, I don’t eat food out of the stores anymore. too much crap in it they are trying to feed you to earn more profits by GMO and fillers and preservatives … Go back to our forefathers ways, were losing it PPL!!!!

  • 14151617

    Since we are having to sue ourselves to protect ourselves from ourselves we should be listened to as the We the People who are the Government(supposedly) and we don’t want horse slaughter on U S soil are anywhere else for that matter .Since we are paying for DOJ and it’s lawyers to defend USDA then we should be able to demand they stop right now.

    • Diogenes22

      Hell, we are only 80%. The Gun Control advocates can’t get anything passed and they are 92%.

      Vote out the GOP. They are in total cahoots with Big Ag, Big Energy particularly the FRACKERS, MONSANTO, and ALEC whose AG GAG bills passed three out of six states.

      Frank Lucas R OK-3 is the pro-horse-slaughter Chairman of the HOUSE AGRICULTURE committee. If he does not capitulate and allow a vote on the SAFE ACT to stop American horses from slaughter anywhere, vote him out and I will help from CA. All we need is a little help from our friends, Mr. Lucas.

  • 14151617

    They want it rammed thru so no futher evidence can be presented to back up HSUS claims. procedures to protect the water and ecosystems. The companies and tribes have nothing to do with whether the USDA is doing the proper thing in issuing permits.This has nothing to do with who can and cannot slaughter horses only the effect of issuing permits for the process and if is done correctly.This judge is not deciding if horse slaughter should or should not be allowed.She is suppose to be deciding if the process is toxic and dangerous to the public and communites involved if I read it correctly.

    • Barbara Leonard

      Just from the environmental impact, we should want nothing to do with a horse slaughter plant. Someone mentioned above about the DeKalb IL plant when it was open….it was state of the art specifically for horse slaughter and they STILL couldn’t get it right. For a real insight into the environmental damage a horse slaughter plant did to Kaufman TX, please see the official Kaufman website http://www.kaufmanzoning.net

  • Kami

    Hell have no furry like Animal lovers, advocates uniting for what is right !!!

  • ziggypop

    Imagine that! These fools from the DOJ actually think they have a good reputation! What planet are they living on? Feigning being insulted is fodder for Stephen Colbert. They are so wrapped up in the importance of themselves, they don’t even know the American people haven’t respected them for some time.

    The corporate fascists led ALEC and in cahoots with Holder’s shilling DOJ, Vilsack’s USDA, and Dept of Interior, Secretary in Absentia and banking/oil/gas shill, Sally Jewell, want to usurp the American people and OUR justice system, and take the money and run…for their cronies. It is the new evil trinity. This isn’t about one little slaughter house in NM. This is about the federal government having incestuous relationships with the K-Street Lobbying groups that are being paid, in this case, by Cattlemen’s, Farm Bureau, American Quarter Horse Association, (to name a few) to pay for the killing and inspection of their excessive and unethical puppy mill mentality of mass producing horses. Why should you and I pay the salaries of meat inspectors when that department is wrought with problems right now!!! PLEASE READ THIS!!!


    The wild horses, which Jewell has been charged to protect, are heading for the borders in trailers of kill buyers rife with fraud. Those horses now have many of the same drugs, like wormers, that the sport horses have. But will the pro slaughter group be honest and tell you that! What do those inside the Beltway care about the toxic cancer drugs in the meat of unsuspecting diners across the EU? It is not like Holder and Jewell kids are going to eat the toxic meat. And the cattle herds are down, as I guess all those drugs, GMO feed and ginormous feedlots aren’t as wonderful as the corpocracy thought. Where did all that frozen horsemeat that was illegally brought into the country go? BTW.

    This is a case of Holder’s DOJ pandering and shilling for his banker buddy Jewell, (he came from a large firm that mostly defended bankers) and the republican big ag strong arming Americans. I am ashamed of these agencies. This is fascism.

    Obama’s getting into bed with the Native’s, so he can frack and thereby poisoning even more Native Land, is disingenuous, shallow and mighty disappointing. Too bad Ben Shelley cannot see through the ruse. Good thing his people can.

    • Lynn

      Can you please tell me Farm Bureau’s involvement? This is the Insurance co. right? I have them right now and if they are pro horse slaughter I would like to switch companies

      • BerksBound

        All Farm Bureaus (American, State and County) are very, very, very pro-horse
        slaughter. They actively lobby at the State and National level for horse slaughter and give $$$ to politicians to get them to oppose bans . Please DO switch insurance companies, and BE SURE to tell them why.

      • Maxlynn

        I believe he is talking about the American Farm Bureau, not the insurance co. Steve King (IA) rammed an amendment into the proposed Farm Bill that will have devastating consequences for animal welfare and the public safety. Not only would individual state laws regarding animal cruelty be upended, but so would laws protecting the environment, workers’ rights and public health, because Mr. King’s amendment bars any state-imposed condition on agricultural products. Yes, that means that not only could horse meat appear in your supermarket but dog meat as well. After all, 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 dogs and cats are euthanized each year, why not make some money on that too? Don’t forget this is the same ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE that believes dog fighting is a good thing and you should take your kids to see it. Frightening.

        • Diogenes22

          In the same state of IA as Charles Grassley. You’ll never catch me moving to IA.

      • Barbara Leonard

        Yes, Farm Bureau Insurance IS pro-slaughter. I used to have their insurance for my pickup and my farm but not for a couple years since I found out they were pro-slaughter. We would all applaud you for cancelling your Farm Bureau policies.

    • Diogenes22

      Do you know what happened at the Navajo Horse Lovers meeting initiated by Mr. Grasson the 23rd?

  • Pam Ewing

    If we live in a democratic society, then I would say that 80% should win this war against horse slaughter. Because of the horses anatomy, the captive does not work on a horse and the horse is bled and dismembered while still conscientious while hanging by a back leg. Pregnant ones have their foal rip from them and the foal is beaten to death on the kill floor. Slaughter of any animal is inhumane, but even more so for a horse. Horse have twice the amount of blood of a cow, so getting rid of volumes of this and unused body parts is nearly impossible. The soil, water and air is polluted. Rick De Los Santos doesn’t have a clean record when he ran his farm animal slaughtering business. So I hardly think he is capable of doing so now. Heck, he lied on his permit application. Ban horse slaughter. I don’t eat beef and if I can help it, horse wont be “what’s for dinner?” This is all about greed and doesn’t have anything to do for the welfare of the horses.

  • magikkap

    I love horses so much they saved my life. please don’t slaughter them.

  • Kennyo

    Again if you want to slaughter horses in the United states I reccomend they put a 100% tax on the horse meat exported to any forign country. I am against horse slaughter but the US Goverment makes poor decissions therefore tax the piss out of them its the american way.

    • maryann

      I think if we stop buying beef products, we can send a message, I read this movement has started, if they wont listen, we stop lining their pockets buying their beef..I am against horse slaughter, why are we going to pollute our towns with slaughter houses to allow them to make cash from over seas?horses are not meant to be eatin, we do not raise them for food, they are full of dangerous meds.besides being, we Americans said no to horse slaughter here, are we going to allow tainted meat to be sent to childrens dinner tables over seas?and if we allow this to start, you can bet your bottom dollar our own wild mustangs will be heading to those plants, and horse meat will start showing up mixed into beef products just like it has been found over seas..

      • Maxlynn

        Hate to tell you maryann but our wild mustangs are already being sent to slaughter. Did you read about the Fort McDermitt round up where the Indians rounded up their horses and unbranded horses from BLM land that wandered onto to their land and a Federal Judge denied a restraining order to hold the unbranded horses and allow them to be sold for slaughter. This was another slimy backdoor deal with the full approval of the US government, BLM and the US Forest Service. Fortunately rescue groups stepped in and pretty much all of those horses were saved, but there are plenty going to slaughter that do not get saved. Go to American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign and Wild Horse Education.org to get the low down. It needs to be stopped now.

        • ziggypop

          Taxpayers paid for the round up, and then let the Natives keep the money. Invoice alone for the charter of the helicopter, alone was about $73,000.

  • Maxlynn

    It has alreadybeen proven by past practices that the slaughter of horses is not humane in any
    way, it is brutal beyond belief and the horses are alive during the butchering process, that they are not raised for meat and that the former industry was horribly inept, inefficient and monstrously filled with people who consistently did not adhere to federal or state standards of safety. Horses are not raised for food and there is no way that anyone with a brain would want the food chain infected this way. Are dogs next? King seems to think so. The slaughter houses that are crying about the money are the ones we will end up having to sue AGAIN to shut them down after they pollute the water and the land. This is BESIDE the fact that 80% of America is AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER IN ANY FORM. I don’t see any reason to move in haste and I say we will have yet another suit against the federal government for moving forward this way. Why should we continue to foot the bill for Greed and veniality? It is insane that we even have to go through this. Greed and veniality seem to be the rule of the country and I for one am entirely sick of it. STOP THE SLAUGHTER NOW. For those of you who seem to like horsemeat, well why don’t you move to Mexico or Asia??

  • Terry

    I want to know just what is the BLM doin with our tax dollars as they are closing the tortise center for lack of money and the whole horse slaughter thing, they are goin to slaughter all the tortises also I am thinking they are just kill happy and what is becoming of our tax dollars? leave the animals alone our money is goin for them, we should have a say in what happens.

    • ziggypop

      Taxpayers are subsidizing the cattle and sheep industry by allowing cattle on our land for $1.35 a month, and for five sheep $1.35 a month. The BLM pays $3.50 a DAY for the horses.

      I suggest, since cattle and sheep on graze on 83% of the range Congress set aside for the horses, we take the land back, and return to freedom a good portion we are holding in prison, and make the livestock owners start paying $3.50 per cow a day to use our land. That will pay for the horses.

  • Shirley Smith

    US horses are not raised or regulated as food animals and should never enter the food chain. Don’t forget the horsemeat scandal in Europe that compromised their beef supply as well as bute detected in some of the compromised beef. The USDA secretary has already gone on record stating that it could happen here if horse slaughter plants were to open on our soil. Please lets’ get The Safe Act passed HR 1094/S541 passed in Congress now and stop the war on our American horses once and for all. No to horse slaughter anywhere and sending our American Horses to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered. No, No and NO!!

  • dk

    Horse slaughter plants in the U.S. is just a bad idea. That’s all. Horses being shipped for slaughter are not required to have health certificates. This means all types of diseases could enter a state from horses being shipped in from other states.

    Furthermore, there are over 100 equine drugs that we (the collective horse owners) give our horses that make them unfit for human consumption. The USDA has no business getting mixed up in this!

    Also, I would be worried about horse thieves stealing my horses for slaughter since we no longer allow hangings for horse thieves.

    Finally, slaughter houses want the healthy horses and never the old or sick horses. They want healthy horses that could go on for other purposes, such as charities that help veterans and children.

    • david_vaughn

      still dishing out the same old tired drivel, there dk. the horse industry is at about 112 billion dollars. Why is that? Very popular. now tell people who in the industry uses the chemicals and drugs. then tell people what agency has oversight on horse owners that impels them to care for the horses at the level you suggest. Horse thievery will exist regardless of slaughter. in fact, to use the same sort of extrapolation that curt lukens likes to use. an uptick of thefts would be indicative of an upswing in the value of horses. aggrandizing and anthropomorphizing the horse does it no favors.

  • Diogenes22

    Maybe he can step back and light another fire. Arson is a crackerjack way to get rid of a losing business, isn’t it?

  • Diogenes22

    And who do you supposed hired Gallup?

    • susanmeanslily

      I don’t know what you are referring to.

    • MorganLvr

      It wasn’t Gallop. Not only didn’t you know that, you misspelled their name!

  • Horselove6943

    I am a horse enthusiast, slaughtering horses is in humane and the people who do it take great pleasure in killing the horses. They mistreat, degrade and abuse the animals before they kill them just to make it look like a fine horse is not really a well horse at the hands of the killers. I DO NOT agree with killing horses to make dog food or for human consumption, but if some misguided, bought, political favor called in to a judge then the slaughter houses need to be monitored for HUMANE euthanization. God says to treat all his creations with respect, love and help. A bolt gun is NOT HUMANE IN ANY WAY, it only kills the brain stem and the heart keeps beating. Would those of you who do this want this done to you? NO YOU WOULDN”T. It is sickening that our government is so uncaring and callus. Politicians pad their pockets and could care less about the little people who by the way make there lives easier by being their lackey’s. Just remember what goes around comes around! What has Obama done for us the little people, NOTHING that we can tell we still struggle and he eats expensive meals that could feed and clothe hundreds of thousands of home people, help struggling farmers, and small businesses instead of the greedy high price industries. God help this nation it is in serious need of your blessing and a Christian leader who leads by example not by spending and running the national debt higher and higher. We need someone who is not afraid to take action and do the right thing!!!!!

  • Curt

    Editors response HORSEBACK magazine Aug 4,2013

    For 10 years this magazine has covered poll after poll regarding America’s attitude toward equine slaughter. Just counting polls we remember, the number has hovered between 70 and 80 percent opposed. The most recent, and by far the most credible, was conducted by the highly respected pollster, Celinda Lake of Washington based Lake Associates. You can see her frequently on the news on American television being interviewed as a respected authority. The number Lake Associates arrived at was again – 80 percent opposed.

    • susanmeanslily

      Who conducted the polls you speak of? What were the motives of the people who paid for them? Were they done scientifically?

    • susanmeanslily

      When a poll is paid for by a special interest group, it is biased.


      • MorganLvr

        EVERY poll is requested by someone who has a vested interest in the outcome or they wouldn’t pay for the poll. But the poll isn’t worth a penny if it isn’t accurate. This poll was done by Lake Research Associated, one of the most respected pollsters in the country and they have a vested interest in doing scientifically designed polls that are as accurate as possible.

        Come out from under your rock and see the real world – even if it doesn’t agree with YOU.

  • Maxlynn

    And we are tired of people like you who want us to turn back the clock and introduce 3rd world morality. You can say what you want about horse meat being safe but 100% of those horses receive vet only approved drugs, many of which are known cancer causing agents in humans. Even the wild horses receive drugs in holding and wormers. So if you think it’s so safe, fine, eat it and feed it to your family. But not in this country. Move to Mexico, move to Asia, move to Afghanistan, move to whatever place you want that sanctions it. When horse slaughter was banned in 2005 they did not even have to take a vote because NO ONE was against banning it.

    • david_vaughn

      100% get vet drugs? who pays for the round up and dosing of wild horses? what’s the cost of that? what agency has the authority to force horse owners to follow that level of care?

    • susanmeanslily

      100% of the horses received drugs? That right there shows either your gullibility or ignorance. Keep your own horse as a house pet, if you like. Horses going to slaughter are livestock.

  • Brenda Tyrrell

    The GAO Horse Welfare Report was paid for by horse slaughter supporters and that has been proven to be fraudulent…..so what is your point?

    • susanmeanslily

      Where is your “proof” that the GEO report was fraudulent? (Please don’t cite an opinion paper written by a Forbes guest contributor, as that isn’t evidence)

      • Brenda Tyrrell


        Where is your proof that the “80% of Americans are against horse slaughter” survey was paid for by the ASPCA?

      • neicey22

        The GAO report was written by the pro slaughter group.

        • susanmeanslily

          Government Accountability Office

          The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. The head of GAO, the Comptroller General of the United States, is appointed to a 15-year term by the President from a slate of candidates Congress proposes.
          The GAO Mission is to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the
          American people. We provide Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced.
          Our Core Values of accountability, integrity, and reliability are reflected in all of the work we do. We operate under strict professional standards of review and referencing; all facts and analyses in our work are thoroughly checked for accuracy.
          Our Work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is mandated by public laws or committee reports. We also undertake research under the authority of the Comptroller General.
          We support congressional oversight by auditing agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively; investigating allegations of illegal and improper activities; reporting on how well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives; performing policy analyses and outlining options for congressional consideration; and issuing legal decisions and opinions, such as bid protest rulings and reports on agency rules. We advise Congress and the heads of executive agencies about ways to make government more efficient, effective, ethical, equitable and responsive.
          Our work leads to laws and acts that improve government operations, saving the government and taxpayers billions of dollars.

    • susanmeanslily
  • veckhoff

    Have you ever watched videos of kosher slaughter? There are plenty of humane violations, there. Don’t kid yourself.

  • david_vaughn

    80% of 316,000,000 people in the US equals 252,800,000. In an industry that pegs at 212 Billion Dollars only 2,000,000 people own horses. The majority of owners realize no profit from the industry. 252.8 m minus 2 m owners equals approx. 250.8 m people that have no investment in the industry. There are approx. 9.2 million horses in the US that will eventually die and have to be buried or cremated causing environmental issues and there are more foals on the way. Where does one look to find the where the abuse and doping occur? Doesn’t take a genius to answer that question. Why don’t save the horse activists advocate for the abolishment of the entire industry that enslaves and abuses?

  • Meat eater

    Come on folks. We need to find a humane way to get rid of all the unwanted horses that are in this country. Let them slaughter the worthless horses and be done with it. Why not ask HSUS to provide the funds to feed all these worthless horses if they don’t want to have them slaughtered. And besides that, there are people in the world that enjoy eating horse meat. We don’t have the right to dictate the eating habits of the rest of the world. You know, I love horses. I think everyone should eat at least one horse per year!

    • ziggypop

      So you are an animal abuser.

  • this plant not only will destroy horses but will be a blight on the land, air and water. roswell itself will be avoided by tourists so roswell you might as well shut the town down because you will be treated like a disease . all for a few bucks and not even that many jobs. good luck with that.

  • I agree there is such an uproar of some of the kosher slaughters right now. there are positively inhumane and other violations there

  • For what it’s worth, in a motion filed today, the plaintiffs are willing to go with the expedited hearing, but do ask that the Judge rule on the motion to modify the TRO and bond.

    A status conference call is scheduled for 9/3.

  • filtergirl

    not only does a horse slaughter plant bring pollution to the water and unspeakable cruelty to the horses, does anyone thing De Santos could pull this off with out the Europeans being involved. they are melding in our country and manipulating this , go the hell home and get out of our country.

  • Brenda Tyrrell

    At least John Holland provides the information from his research which is more than can be said of the GAO which cites anonymous sources and tries to pass it off as “proof.”

  • Maxlynn

    Really? So when you’re done with that horse you’re shown on you are all for shipping him/her off to slaughter where it has been documented that horses are whipped, beaten and electronically prodded and repeatedly bludgeoned, resulting in fully concious horses being dragged, hung, bled out and dismemebered while alive?? REALLY??????

    • susanmeanslily

      Perhaps you should tour some slaughter facilities and get some real-life experience instead of the propaganda you have been fed from Animal Rights Activists. Death is a part of life…all life ends at some point. Animals that go to slaughter are usually treated quite well. I’m not saying it’s done right 100% of the time, but the people who are in this business know it is poor business to do the things you speak of. Physical harm to an animal bruises the meat. Bruised meat has to be discarded. All animals have to be rendered unconscious before they are hung and bled out, let alone dismembered.

  • gwh

    it’s ok to see horses starved to death in pastures and ranches. if you lived in the country instead of the city you would understand horses are like people. there are such horses that are outlaws, broncs and can’t be broken. just like people that are sent to prison. not all horses are sweet and loving. move to the country and actually own horses. let one buck you off and hospitalize you or kick your head off. that’s ok though isn’t it. why don’t you people against it buy land and safe and feed these poor mistreated horses. but its ok to kill cattle, pigs, goats, deer and all animals. theirs so many horses and donkeys people are starving them due to drought and money and turning them loose. if yall were concerned about children as you are about horses, there wouldn’t be any starving children in the world.

  • neicey22

    Kosher! Have you watched Kosher killing? Everyone should get off their flesh and blood addictions.

  • susanmeanslily

    If no one in this country will eat horse meat, why is there a Black Market for it in Florida?

    • dunthat

      B.S. theres  no market for horse meat in Florida.How dare you spout your filthy mouth .that is a crime in florida. Shame on you

      • susanmeanslily

        “Black Market” means “illegal”. There is indeed a Black Market for horse meat in Florida.

        • dunthat

          Thats right . Illegal. Do you know what that means?Should i really explain this to you?

  • Horse1

    I think if you don’t own a horse, or have never owned and actually taken care of a horse or horses, your opinion doesn’t matter!! This is the same as people that don’t have kids think they know more about raising kids than the people that actually have kids! There are other considerations with horses and other livestock than just how it makes you feel. What about the thousands of horses being starved or just let loose on the range to fend for themselves. Do you people ever think of actual reality? There is a cause and effect for everything. You can try to force something to happen but only deal with one side of it. What is the solution for the huge overpopulation of horses and the lagging feed supply. Before you think you know the answer, think about reality not the alternate universe most of you live in.

  • MorganLvr

    It is shocking and demoralizing to see US officials – who DO know better – to prostitute themselves for HORSE SLAUGHTER of all things! I lived near the horse slaughter plants in Texas, and I know what a corrupt, cruel, unregulated and criminal the international horse slaughter “business” really is.

    How the people who support this sleazy, predatory industry can live with themselves is a total mystery to me. That our country can continue to knowingly export dangerously adulterated horse meat for the profit of a very small number of profiteers is beyond belief. It’s illegal, immoral, unethical and disgraceful.