08/03/2013 8:09AM

Restraining order temporarily delays opening of horse slaughter plants


A federal judge issued a restraining order on Friday in a lawsuit against two proposed slaughterhouses in New Mexico and Iowa, temporarily halting plans to open both facilities next week.

Judge Christina Armijo of the U.S. District Court of New Mexico issued the order and scheduled another hearing on Monday, Aug. 5, for the lawsuit, the Associated Press reports. The lawsuit was brought by The Humane Society and other animal rights groups against Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa. Both companies were prepared to open their plants next week, which would have resumed horse slaughter in the U.S. for the first time in six years.

The Humane Society and fellow groups contend that the United States Department of Agriculture failed to conduct necessary environmental studies before issuing permits that allowed the plants to operate. The USDA granted a permit to the New Mexico facility in late June after it met the legal requirements.

Horse-slaughter plants operated in 2007 before Congress banned the practice by eliminating funding for plant inspections. Funds were restored in 2011, but the USDA had not granted any permits to open plants until this year. The USDA has included language in its 2014 budget proposal that would eliminate federal funding for the inspection of horses at slaughter facilities.

Earlier this week, the owner of Valley Meat Co. alleged that arsonists had struck his facility on July 27, disabling the refrigeration units. Director, actor, and activist Robert Redford is among those involved in the lawsuit, announcing last week that he had formed a foundation with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to oppose the re-opening of horse slaughter facilities.

Janet Isaacs More than 1 year ago
thank God they got stop now we need to BAN it altogather support the SAFE ACT 1094 and 5542 save the hoses from this horrible death and un humane act PLEASE
Susan Setzke More than 1 year ago
The majority of Americans strongly oppose horse slaughter being reinstated in the U.S. We must work to ban it altogether to ensure the safety and well-being of our horses and to encourage responsible horse ownership and breeding practices. Contact your elected officials and ask them to support and co-sponsor the SAFE Act that would effectively ban horse slaughter and the transportation of our horses out of the country for the purpose of slaughter. (HR1094/S541)
Debbie Tracy More than 1 year ago
We have a reprieve this is a big victory for the horses, but w have a long ways to go... Please everyone go to popvox Safe Act 1094 & S542 bills to send to your Reps of your state's... Or just call them to support these two bills one is to ban all horse slaughter and the other is ban transportation of horses to slaughter for human consumption, please everyone we need to call all the time keep bugging them... Since Pete Session would not let these two bills have a voice on the floor no discussion at all not allowed to debate these bills, I personally had know idea that is how our Democracy worked??? So much corruption in Washington, BUT if we are loud enough and keep pushing we all can win this for the horses..... PLEASE FIGHT HARD as much as you can to once and for all stop this>>>>>>> WE CAN DO THIS :)
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
Just hearing about this is disgusting. Maybe horse sites, such as DRF, could offer free advertising to places like the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. (www.trfinc.org)
Billie Weaver More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Robert Redford and Gov. Richardson. We must stop opening of horse slaughtering facilities!