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Court Declares Horse Slaughter in U.S. Illegal

United States District Court Judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, held that the slaughter of horses in America violates federal law. In her opinion, which was published in a 51-page finding issued in response to a lawsuit filed in February 2006 by the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL) and other humane organizations and individuals, Judge Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to conduct an environmental impact review of its decision to allow the continuation of horse slaughter.

The rule that was vacated by the court was promulgated by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to create a fee-for-service inspection process for horses slaughtered for human consumption. The rule circumvented a congressionally approved amendment to the FY 2006 Agricultural Appropriations Act that cut federal funding for the required inspections. Because of continuing resolutions approved by Congress to fund the government, this latest ruling is effective immediately.

There are three horse slaughterhouses in America, one in Illinois and two in Texas. Though the Texas plants were recently forced to stop slaughtering horses for human consumption when an appellate court upheld a Texas law making it illegal to sell, possess and transport horsemeat for sale for human consumption, the Illinois plant has been killing approximately 1,000 horses per week.

Currently pending in Congress are H.R. 503 and its Senate companion measure, S. 311, which would ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption and prohibit the transport of horses outside of the United States for slaughter.

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com


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