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10th Circuit Grants Temporary Injunction in Horse Case

On Monday, two judges from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver issued a temporary stay of a lower court opinion over USDA inspections of horsemeat slaughter and packing facilities.

Senior Judge David M. Ebel and Judge Gregory Alan Phillips granted the plaintiffs in the case, led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), temporary injunctive relief and called for responses to a HSUS motion by 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7.

The plaintiffs promised to appeal the case to the 10th Circuit after the U.S. District Court in New Mexico last Friday dismissed their case challenging USDA inspections of up to three horsemeat facilities without going though more extensive and formal environmental reviews.

According to HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle, the plaintiffs are asking the federal appeals court to block all horse-slaughter inspections in the U.S. until their appeal is resolved.

“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,” Pacelle said Monday after the appeals court stay was issued. “Meanwhile, we are redoubling our efforts in Congress to secure a permanent ban on the slaughter of our horses throughout North America.”

Horsemeat was last packed under USDA inspection for human consumption and export more than six years ago. However, an attorney for two of the businesses that are ready to resume the practice sees the 10th Circuit challenge as just another part of the process.

Albuquerque attorney A. Blair Dunn represents both Valley Meat in New Mexico and Rains Natural Meats in Missouri. “The 10th Circuit order is temporary,” Dunn said. “We know the 10th Circuit will follow the law and allow my clients to proceed as soon as our side is considered. 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,” he added. “Both Valley and Rains are confident that once the 10th Circuit has had a chance to hear both sides that they will recognize this to be more frivolous delay and interference litigation by HSUS and company.”

© Food Safety News
  • Fly on the Wall

    Agreed. HSUS is pushing an animal rights issue unsupported by statute. They are doomed to failure unless Congress changes the statute. Horse slaughter creates jobs and generates tax revenue. Congress will publically support humane treatment of horses, but in the end, they will follow the money and not ban the slaughter of horses in the US.

    • MorganLvr

      Fly, you need to educate yourself or stop posting. This is NOT about “animal rights.” Never was and never will be. This is about the illegal exporting of unregulated, non-food animals overseas for human consumption. The USDA can twist the law and spin all they want, but they will not win in the end.

      Our horses are not food animals and so their veterinary medications as well as many other widely used products – like fly spray – contain substances that are explicitly banned from any use in any food animal at any time during their entire lifetime. The FSIS plans to test 4 horses out of every 100, an unacceptably low number. To ensure safety EVERY horse would have to be checked thoroughly. And even then they can’t test for every substances almost every US horse received during their lives as a matter of course. Why do you think the European Union will not accept the horse meat these plants plan to produce?

      Horse slaughter is also unacceptably cruel and illegal as it does not come even close to being in compliance with our Human Slaughter Regulations.

      You have things totally backward – the MONEY is pro-slaughter. Lobbyists from Big Cattle, Big Pork, every Farm Bureau and any Big Ag business you can think of has poured MILLIONS into insuring no anti-horse slaughter legislation is ever passed. They have been doing this for years. It’s all public knowledge. Look it up for yourself.

      There is no humane slaughter of horses. Even Temple Grandin acknowledges that. Slaughter methods designed for cattle are totally unsuitable for horses. There are enough votes in both the House and Senate to pass anti-slaughter legislation AND defund the USDA’s inspection of horse slaughter plants if these nut jobs would get on with it instead of blocking everything the “other side” suggests.

      Horse slaughter plants provide few jobs. I know because I lived near both the horse slaughter plants that used to be in Texas. The jobs are usually given to undocumented workers because they can be abused and have no recourse to authorities. The pay is minimum wage – or less – very dangerous and dehumanizing. There is a very high turnover as might be expected. We already have many better jobs than THIS!

      You really DO need to do your homework on this subject.

      • BB

        That’s interesting MorganLvr that you say Temple Grandin said there is “no humane slaughter on horses.” I happen to value her opinion very much. A simple Google search revealed this article: http://www.grandin.com/humane/questions.answers.horse.slaughter.html
        She basically says that it would be more humane in a USDA regulated environment than being slaughtered in local abattoirs in Mexico where they use the “puntilla.”
        You also say “This is about the illegal exporting of unregulated, non-food animals overseas for human consumption.” If it were approved it would be regulated by USDA, so how would it be “unregulated?”
        How can you say it’s not about animal rights? Last time I checked, HSUS’ goal wasn’t eradication of drug residues in food products. They’re an animal rights activist organization……..
        I’m not even pro-slaughter as I might sound…..I’m just trying to be unemotional and objective even though that’s almost impossible with this subject matter.

      • M Ramsey

        How dare you insult someone about their opinion because it differs from your own? Look like it or not meat is meat just because you don’t want to eat it means nothing! They use to sale it at the farmers market in Seattle when I was a child and the people there were not undocumented workers they were farm owners. Personally I think horses are beautiful but so are cows and chickens but the united states is only over run with one and the other ones we are already eating. Being that we are over run with horses and they are currently costing us money I would like to profit off of them and a source of food or anything else sounds fine so get off of your high horse so someone can eat it!

        • dk

          M Ramsey, how dare you try to “profit” from horses you don’t even own. You want to “profit” off of MorganLvr’s personal horse when you do not even own the horse? This is exactly why horse owners do not want horse slaughter — horse theft. People steal horses that are not theirs and sell them to slaughter plants.

          Another reason people with horses do not want horse slaughter is that health certificates are not required for slaughter horses, which means vectors like flies and mosquitoes bite the diseased slaughter horses and pass it along to people’s healthy privately-owned horses.

          A third reason people do not want horse slaughter is it kills business for stallion owners anywhere near a horse slaughter plant because mare owners do not want to send their mares to stallions located near slaughter plants for fear of theft and disease.

          A fourth reason people do not want horse slaughter is that horses are not regulated and are given over 100 drugs that are clearly labeled “not for use in horses intended for food.” You want to profit so badly that you would willingly poison your fellow human beings?

          A fifth reason people do not want horse slaughter plants is the stigma it causes their communities, where home values plummet and business moves elsewhere.

          A sixth reason people do not want horse slaughter plants is the environmental damage it does to their communities.

          A seventh reason people do not want horse slaughter plants is the cruelty to horses.

          An eighth reason people do not want horse slaughter plants is the cost to U.S. taxpayers. It costs over $400,000.00 per plant, per year, for the USDA to inspect.

          Do I need to go on, M Ramsey? Or can you find another line of work that doesn’t infringe on so many people and horses just so you can “make a profit?”

          • MorganLvr

            Excellent reply, dk. Even if it was to a loudmouthed troll who is stupid enough to think interfering with legitimate discussions is “fun.”

            Get a life, Ramsey.

        • MorganLvr

          Americans do not eat horses. Our horses are not raised as food animals and their veterinary medications and other products are approved by the FDA without regard as to whether they are safe for humans. And most are not.

          Meat is not safe for humans to eat if it’s been adulterated with products that are banned for use in food animals, You are dumb even for a troll!

          We are NOT overrun with horses. Now, you are referring to our wild horses which the BLM has been illegally removing from their designated ranges to the point that many herds are no longer genetically viable. I hope you know what that means.

          How the GAO Deceived Congress About Horse Welfare After Closing of US Slaughter Plants: http://youtu.be/BSxUPNgzgn4

          White Paper: How the GAO Deceived Congress About Horse Welfare After Domestic Horse Slaughter Plant Closings:

          GAO Accused Of Fraud As Horse Slaughter Plants Fight To Open: http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2013/08/08/gao-accused-of-fraud-as-horse-slaughter-plants-fight-to-open/

          GAO on Horse Abuse: http://james-mcwilliams.com/?p=4334

          The Fuzzy Math Being Used to Justify Horse Slaughter in the United States: http://www.psmag.com/environment/the-fuzzy-math-behind-horse-slaughter-64336/

          Evidence Shows GAO Horse Welfare Report Fraudulent: http://bit.ly/18oCAGO

          Grand Opening Of Horse Slaughter Plants Foiled Again: http://000Xi3465IHK

          Veterinary Residues Committee-Position Paper–Residues of Phenylbutazone in horses:


          Guidance Horse Meds Passports VMG Note16 https://app.box.com/s/5k630u3e3e0dxnre2n67

          Expert Opinion on Why Horse Slaughter Should Not Resume in the US: http://www.noequineslaughter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Declaration-of-Harm-Final1.pdf

          NO ONE eats MY horse, troll. Now, go pollute someone else’s discussions.

  • Linda Simmons

    Please continue to ban this practice.

  • Shane

    from Shane : To Dan Flynn, well you are getting better at appearing to be objective in reporting. I could not do better than MorganL.vr in replying to Fly on the Wall. On the off chance that there might be some unconvinced people who read these comments, those trying to be neutral in a moral crisis (Winston Churchill said the deepest parts of Hell were reserved for such), some observations. The reporting on this is always like the comic book view of issues or coverage of boxing: HSUS vs. U.S.D.A., Pacelle vs. Dunn etc. which also sadly prevails in foreign policy: Assad
    v. Obama, etc. This is propaganda evasion of the larger issues, a dumbing down of the public as if it were a football match. This is a human rights issue, not an animal rights issue. Do foreign backed corporations (Japanese in the case of Gallatin and Roswell) have the right to force horse slaughter on communities whose taxpayers have to subsidize its inspections costs and clean up ? Corporate fascism says yes. Democracy says no. Is it legal or moral to market products abroad that are tainted with toxins ? Corporate fascism says yes. Prevailing United States law says no.
    If the Senate remains corrupt in following the money trail to re-election, then maybe it’s high time for a non-violent revolution. If we listened to Fly On The Wall’s calculated defeatism back in 1775,

    it would have been something like “what’s the use of tax resistance to King George ? They are ruled by the “East India Company” so we’ll just have to keep drinking their tea. Nothing can be done. There will always be corporate profiteers ! “

  • wdiz

    People eat horse meat everyday and have been for a long time. If the US can raise horse’s that are safe to eat then by all means bring on the horse burgers! I’ll be the first one to put one on a spit and bbq it’s ass!

    • dk

      You’ll be the first one with health problems associated with eating adulterated horse meat.

    • M Ramsey

      Hahahaha knowing the super markets im sure you’ve had a horseburger or two ever shop at aldis? Ground beef ground horse POW lol

      • MorganLvr

        Not in the US – not yet anyway. That’s just another reason we are fighting the return of horse slaughter plants on American soil.

  • wdiz

    People have been eating horse meat forever and still do to this day. If the US can raise horse’s for consumption then by all means bring on the meat.

  • Shane

    Shane to BB : 1)”since HSUS is known as an animal rights group, it therefore can’t also forward other environmental concerns by other parties to the lawsuit” well 2) by that logic “since the government of Germany is not primarily known as an environmentalist organization, it could not also forward environmental concerns” etc. etc. 3) “HSUS’s goal isn’t the eradication of drug residues in food products therefore they couldn’t lobby on behalf of those whose goal was such eradication” well 4) by that logic “the goal of the World Health Organization isn’t strictly speaking

    ending child labor therefore they couldn’t use their influence on behalf of eradicating child labor” etc. etc. See where this going BB? It is part of the propaganda of pro slaughter extremists to imply that animal rights groups are pushing it. But 80% of Americans are opposed to the slaughter of horses for human consumption, especially being subsidized by their federal taxpayers. In forwarding their concerns, several groups with disparate interests are legally challenging the resumption of horse slaughter without addressing first its environmental impact. 80% of Americans are not animal rights activists. Therefore the opposition to horse slaughter is not fueled primarily by animal rights activists. The people are the engine, pushing from behind, HSUS is simply the most visible leading railroad car. 5) David Rains has stated that he will shoot horses in the face with a shotgun at his Gallatin plant. Does that sound more “Humane” then the Mexican stab to sever the spinal column ? 6) “since the U.S.D.A. would regulate it how could it be unregulated “? That’s nothing but a specious tautology ! It is inherently unregulated because documentation of every substance ever given a horse could not be logistically possible or economically feasible 7) it’s isn’t enought to be “unemotional” and “objective”

    BB. Trying using the logical part of your brain which seems to have been lobotmized in the pro horse slaughter fringe group crowd !

  • M Ramsey

    oh hush they are eating it anyway there is a huge market for it in ohio and no ones died yet in fact they look pretty damn healthy

    • MorganLvr

      You are just another troll trying to stir up arguments. There is NO market for horse meat in the US except for tiny niches, and that meat comes from horses that are illegally slaughtered. NOT in Ohio, hon.

      A lot of horses are sold for slaughter in Ohio, but they are slaughtered in Mexico and Canada.

      I’ve wasted more than enough time with you.

  • M Ramsey

    You are so full of it Americans eat horse meat in large quantities and in foreign countries its just as common as beef is here depending on the country. I tell you what don’t take your horse to ohio or Kentucky where they have auction and on sight slaughter of horses once a month for human consumption because its cheap meat and people are poor. Youre acting as though everyone thinks like you and they simply don’t

    • MorganLvr

      Americans do NOT eat our horses because we have better sense than to eat non-food animals whose veterinary medications and other widely used products as well are not approved with regard to their safety for HUMANS – and indeed, most are not legal to use in food animals for any reason at any time in their lives. NO ONE in the US raises horses to be acceptable as food animals. We KNOW what we give our horses, dimwit.

      As for other countries, that is their business, just as what we eat or do not eat is OUR business.

      Troll, I know my horse isn’t safe for human consumption, and even if I didn’t care what happened to my horse, I’d NEVER feed his meat to another human being. He’s been given veterinary medications that are NOT SAFE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. What is SO freaking hard to understand about that? And I don’t believe there is on site slaughter of horses unless it’s for black market. I guess it’s okay by you to feed people poison.

      It’s not a matter of what I THINK, it’s a matter of FACTS.

      And that’s all the fodder I’m wasting feeding you, loathsome troll.