Court blocks Missouri horse slaughter plant

Horses held in export pens before transported for slaughter.
Horses held in export pens before being transported for slaughter. © Kathy Milani/The HSUS

A US District Court judge in New Mexico issued a temporary restraining order to block federal inspections at a proposed Missouri horse slaughter plant.

It follows a similar temporary order preventing federal inspections at a proposed horse abattoir in Roswell, New Mexico.

Both orders were in response to a motion filed by the Humane Society of the United States and Front Range Equine Rescue, along with other horse protection organizations and several individuals.

The latest order blocks the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) providing inspections at Rains Natural Meats in Missouri.

Such inspections would allow the facility to begin slaughtering horses for human consumption.

“This is a temporary but important reprieve for horses,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice-president of animal protection litigation for the humane society.

“The horse slaughter industry is a predatory enterprise that buys up young and healthy horses and kills them to sell the meat to Europe and Japan.

“We will continue to make the case that the US should reject this industry, just as we would reject a slaughter industry for dogs or cats gathered up under false pretenses and killed as a food export commodity.”

The plaintiffs are challenging the USDA decision to approve inspections, arguing that the department violated the National Environmental Policy Act by authorizing them without conducting the necessary environmental review.

A similar order banning inspections is in place for an Iowa plant, which indicated in mid-August it intended to focus on beef processing instead.

The fate of the temporary restraining orders rest on the plaintiffs successfully pressing home their argument in a more substantive hearing.

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13 thoughts on “Court blocks Missouri horse slaughter plant

  • September 22, 2013 at 9:49 am
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    I’m happy that they stopped it before it actually got started. Horse slaughter is like a disease, the earlier its treated the better outcome…for all. I’m tired of the lies that have been told by the pro slaughter faction in order to justify their actions. Its crazy. I’m not going into a long dissertation about it but i wasn’t horse slaughter to actually be banned for good.

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    • September 26, 2013 at 11:38 am
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      This is really crazy it has unfolded this far. We just keep pushing forward, shoulder in and go! We have proven on one hand that slaughter actually helps nothing or anyone, and on the other hand it delivers more burdens and destruction upon our industry. We understand there ARE horses starving and in serious situations. So we need to push and pursue the issue to have people report these problems. When they say on pr0-slaughter’s side the horses are starving, then maybe they should be responsible and turn those horses in and start helping to protect the helpless, the pro-slaughter persons who refuse to turn the cases in should be responsible for them because slaughter has not reopened as of yet and therefore its unacceptable that they allow this to continue while they wait to make some bloody cash
      !

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  • September 22, 2013 at 11:32 am
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    NO! TO HORSE SLAUGHTER!

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  • September 22, 2013 at 11:57 am
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    I do hope that this plant in Gallatin, Mo., or anywhere else in the U.S. never open.

    Horses being shipped for slaughter are not required to have health certificates. This means all types of diseases could enter from out of state.

    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 being 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. These are horses that could benefit communities through therapy programs for veterans and children.

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  • September 22, 2013 at 11:57 am
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    Please ask your U.S. Senators and Representatives to support the Safeguard American Food Exports act, which will ban slaughter in the U.S. and the shipment for slaughter to Canada and Mexico. Safeguard American Food Exports act is S. 541 in the U.S. Senate and H.R. 1094 in the U.S. House of Representatives. This website makes it easy to contact your elected officials: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

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  • September 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm
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    I hope for Gallatin’s sake that this temporary restraining order becomes a permanent ban on horse slaughter. The environmental impact of a horse slaughtering factory in the Gallatin area would be devastating. Located in the Grand Basin Watershed, with its surface of limestone, shale and silt, Rains’ wastewater would run far and wide, filling streams and rivers (and wells) with drug-laden poison. There are 1,000 streams in the Grand Basin Watershed. One of these streams runs right next to Rains’ and on into the Grand River, less than a mile away. Within the area, four endangered species of fish, two species of rare fish, and a few other species on the “watch list” depend on clean water to survive. The Missouri Department of Conservation recommends many of these beautiful streams for recreation, but who wants to float in horse blood and guts? And of course, no one wants cancer causing drinking water in their wells.

    If Rains hauls the blood and wastewater into the Gallatin water system, the situation could be even worse. I pity the people of Gallatin if that happens. Nobody wants horse blood bubbling up in their toilet. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the devastating effects of horse slaughter in the town of Kaufman, Texas at http://www.kaufmanzoning.net if you want to find out the truth about what you can expect to see (and smell) in Gallatin. I hope horse slaughter is banned for good.

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  • September 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm
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    If horse slaughter returns to the US, my horses will be in danger of being stolen and sold into the slaughter pipeline. This is just one of many, many reasons why I and 80% of Americans oppose horse slaughter.

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  • September 24, 2013 at 12:35 am
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    Anything of value is subject to being stolen but that don’t include a horse right now. Unless the anti slaughter people intent to provide the resources to care for hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of unwanted horses they need to stop the unrealistic argument that horse slaughter is not needed. Horses are suffering worse now than any other time in American history.

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm
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      Your numbers are way, way off. Where do you get the “hundreds of thousands of horses”. That has been disproven time and again. Horse theft was up when horse slaughter plants were operating in this country. It was worse in 2004-05 prior to the banning of horse slaughter. That is why I kept deer cams at the back pasture gates which were kept padlocked. I hope to God they don’t open a nasty slaughter house in Missouri. Do you want to be known as the “show me state” or the “horse slaughter state”? If you start slaughtering horses there, nobody will come to visit. It would be a great way to get rid of tourists, if ya’ll have any.

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  • September 24, 2013 at 6:37 am
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    There isn’t A NEPA requirement specific to private property owner rights. This grasping at straws by liberal Eco-terrorist groups is just another effort to block commerce and industry. They have appealed to the emotions of the ignorant masses and succeeded in humanizing an animal. Maddening that decisions are based on feelings and emotion rather than rational thoughts and ideals.

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    • September 24, 2013 at 8:10 am
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      What I’m trying to figure out is how the HSUS and animal rights activist over stepped their bounds into the EPA’s jurisdiction. and got a restraining order against the slaughter houses. Guess I just don’t understand politics.

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      • September 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm
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        They didn’t step over their bounds. The truth is, nobody but a small group of people stand to benefit from your nasty slaughter house. You’d be surprised at how disgusted people are by the idea, if you got out more.

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm
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      It’s more than feeling and emotion. It’s pollution, criminality, contamination and greed that also makes 80% of America & 71% of horse owners oppose horse slaughter. We are waiting on the other 20% to evolve.

      Reply

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