Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Judge Temporarily Halts the Opening of Horse Slaughterhouses in New Mexico and Iowa

On August 2, U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo issued a temporary restraining order against two slaughterhouses, in Iowa and New Mexico, which were set to begin the slaughter of horses next week.  The lawsuit, brought by the Humane Society of the United States, and several other organizations, contended that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) failed to do the proper environmental impact studies before issuing the permits which would allow the companies in Iowa and New Mexico to open the horse slaughterhouses.  The injunction will remain in place for 30 days, after which the court will decide whether to extend the order for a longer period of time.

The USDA gave these slaughterhouses the go-ahead to begin horse slaughter in June.  According to the USDA, Congress prohibited the use of Federal funding for equine slaughter inspections in 2006, but did not continue the prohibition in its FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 112-55).  Therefore, if a slaughterhouse meets all FSIS regulations for equine slaughter, the FSIS must grant Federal inspection to the facility.

For more information, please see the USDA’s Humane Slaughter page or FSIS’ Information Regarding Horse Slaughter page.

Written By Gaby Gilbeau – Research Assistant

The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center


August 6, 2013

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