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Hearing to Stop Horse Slaughter to Cost Plaintiffs Almost $500,000

Animal welfare plaintiffs challenging in federal court USDA’s inspection of two horsemeat packing businesses will have to post a bond of almost $500,000 to have their case proceed in the short term.

A federal magistrate in Albuquerque set the amount on Thursday after hearing from the parties in the case, including Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, NM, and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, IA. USDA has agreed to inspect those two companies if they begin to slaughter horses for human consumption in other countries.

A federal restraining order currently prevents the two companies from starting operations and, if the plaintiffs post the bond, the next step will be a hearing on whether to turn the restraining order into a preliminary injunction.

Attorneys for the businesses said they stand to lose millions if the case drags on for months. The bond amount is intended to cover only the possibility that the animal welfare groups lose the case in the next 30 days.

Congress prohibited USDA from spending any funds on equine inspections from 2006 to 2011. During that time, no legal horse slaughter for human consumption was to occur within U.S. borders, although pirate operations were known to pop up in places such as rural Dade County, FL.

Since President Obama and Congress lifted the ban, several companies, mostly in small towns in the western U.S., have applied for USDA inspection services. The amply funded Humane Society of the United States leads the plaintiffs moving to block that from happening.

Obama’s proposed budget includes a provision for resuming the ban, a move also endorsed by the House Appropriations Committee.

© Food Safety News
  • ziggiepop

    This is a nasty business, rife with fraud, pain and suffering. It is amazing to me that people do not question the why these people who fanatically support brutally killing horses call themselves “horsemen”? Seriously, think about how bizarre that the group in Iowa is lying to us, having the nerve to call this barbarism “euthanasia” on their website? How it is that a trucking company is calling themselves a professional horse killer and no one is questioning that?

    The drugs, the inhumanity, the environmental disaster, the decrease in property values, the huge increase in crime, (no one has even talked about the increase in violent crimes that come with horse slaughter) and already noticed increase in horse thieving, should be enough for any community to say, “not in my backyard”.

    This industry is the handiwork of the devil and nothing more.

  • neicey22

    Should have been 5 bucks!

  • terri

    They don’t deserve a nickel.

  • dk

    I sure hope these horse slaughter plants never open in the U.S.

    Each horse slaughter plant would cost taxpayers $400,000.00 per year for USDA inspections, and the meat would be sold overseas. Why should U.S. taxpayers have to foot this bill, and further drain the U.S. economy?

    As of 7/31/13, the new European Union regulations means the market for U.S. horse meat “just dwindled to almost nothing.”


    Each horse that is in the economy helps to support the jobs of veterinarians, farriers, feed stores, equine pharmaceutical companies, tack companies, truck companies and more.

    Here are the new EU regulations:


  • dk

    There is a brand new Facebook page dedicated to consolidating all of the anti-horse slaughter petitions into one place, so you no longer have to go looking for them all!


    • Roger

      Help me to understand. Most of the world eats cows, pigs, chickens, goats, ducks, geese, and fish. Koreans eat dogs. Europeans like horse meat. Who are we to tell other people their choice of meat is “wrong.”

      • Deedie

        I’ll help you understand if you promise to listen & attempt to comprehend. Nobody is telling anybody what to eat. Let Europeans eat their own horses. We don’t eat horse meat in America and we shouldn’t be told that we have to slaughter them here for an over seas industry. Who are you to tell Americans that they have to support horse slaughter because Europeans eat horse meat?

  • Save Navajo Horses

    I am raising awareness and keeping people informed about this situation. I am also accepting contributions to save as many horses as I can. The more money I get the more horses that will be saved. Please check out https://www.facebook.com/savenavajo.horses and https://twitter.com/SaveNavajoHorse please help spread the word.


    The man will be run out of this country. No one is going to send a horse that they have had for well over 20 years to slaughter.

  • Blair Dunn, the lawyer for Valley Meat, is bragging that Rains Natural Meats in Missouri can now be the first horse slaughter plant to open because the judge only specifically mentioned Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation in the restraining order.

    Of course, a Missouri judge has put a hold on issuing a wastewater permit to Rains, which would be enough for the USDA to hold regardless. But Dunn seems to believe that the USDA is blithely going to continue handing out permits despite the legal actions pending in New Mexico.

    And now a whole new slew of entities are filing to intervene on behalf of the defendant, including cattle people (because they want their cows grazing on government land, not horses), International Equine Business Association, Kujyukuri Ltd, and others. Kujukuri Ltd?

    Of course, several of the defendant intervenors are demanding discovery. Discovery in an APA action. Hmm.

    This is a mess.


  • savinghorses2

    This is really interesting folks the reservations have contaminated wells they have uranium?, Ecoli? and arsenic? and the reservation horses are drinking the water and then heading to slaughter, FSIS doesn’t check horses on any level for uranium or arsenic. PERIOD! We need to get the word out these horses need to be tested for these issues before leaving the reservation!

  • ny bronc buster

    They arrive daily at the primitive Mexican abbatoirs. Hundreds and hundreds a week. It didnt stop, you just forced shipment another 400 miles south. Now they get starved, dehydrated and kicked in the face. Then executed. Wow. You REALLY helped them. There’s another load arriving tomorrow.