Federal Judge Issues Restraining Order to Halt Opening of Horse Slaughter Plants

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U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo issued a restraining order Friday that temporarily halts two companies from beginning to slaughter horses next week.

The Des Moines Register reports that Armijo issued a restraining order in the lawsuit brought forward by the Humane Society of the United States and several other groups that contend the Department of Agriculture failed to do the proper environmental studies before issuing permits that allowed companies in Iowa and New Mexico to open horse slaughterhouses.

Armijo scheduled another hearing for Monday in the case.

Keaton Walker, president of Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa, one of the facilities that intended to process horses, had said he wanted the plant to begin processing horses as soon as Monday. Walker told the Register prior to the decision that should an injunction be issued, “we would have to evolve as a company and look to beef processing instead.”

Read more in the Des Moines Register

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  • 14151617

    A little time line for you.2010 GAO not so accurate study on closure of slaughter plants and horse abuse.2010 Iowa pays for on feasibilty of Horse slaughter plant.
    2011 political antics used to remove rider defunding horse slaughter. No money added to budget to cover inspectors.
    2011/12 companies start spending money and getting investors to start up horse slaughter plants.Still no money for inspectors in budget.
    All the time majority of citizens do not want horse slaughter.
    2013 President of the United States and USDA want to Defund Inspectors. USDA had to be sued to inspect plants.House and Senate defund horse slaughter in their Farm Bills Y2014.
    Does this sound like good business practice? Or do they have information from our Politicians that we as usual are not privy too?
    There is a shirt you can order the says Save a Horse Eat a Politician.Think I might order a few.

    • Convene

      Now there’s a T-shirt slogan that’s actually worth wearing!

      Unfortunately, if we actually ate a politician we’d probably die terrible deaths from some incurable and deadly toxin!

      • janna

        have always hoped that a bunch of those horsemeateating Europeans would get ptomaine poisoning or be run thru a Mexican slaughterhouse themselves

  • Mr.Moo

    lets see what we can do to get the licensing o this SHT stoped once and for all.

    if anyone has the nads to start an effort weither it be a seconday efort or to support another group or collecting signed patittions to state/federial judjes, congressmen what ever I will kick in the first 1000.00 USD come on people lets do it…. i think there are enough anti horse slauter people that we can out last there money ..(make it cost them more than the fight is worth)

    for the record I do in fact do what i say,

  • Convene

    I think it’s a very good thing there’s such a taboo against cannibalism. Otherwise we’d all have to watch out for the greedy opportunists hunting us down in the streets! After all, anything for a buck, y’know. It’s appalling that this can even keep coming back up as an issue. The horse is a companion animal, for pete’s sakes!

    • rancher

      Yours might be; mine are not. Pure livestock, just like the cattle, hogs and other domesticated animals. You do with yours what you want and I need to be able to do with mine what I want. Some cultures eat horse meat and that’s their business. You can buy any that I sell at fair market value.

      • Mr.Moo

        you are not a very sucsefull rancher then.
        it is known that a horse is one of the least efficent feed conversion anamals their is.(more bone and guts) find a pencile and do the math 350 to 400 per 800lb to 1100Lb does not compare to the current on the hoof beef price. and the price will go down from there based on the external market being cautious of meds and compounds in the meat and supply if they ever actualy open will increas driving the price down. unless i guess if your not feeding … but that would cost you weight

        • rancher

          I am a very successful rancher, thank you. We need and use horses on our place to work cattle, ride fence, pull a stone boat, etc. When they are no longer useful, they go to market. An unsuccessful rancher might keep something around that isn’t productive, but that is not good management. People like you are out of touch with the reality of raising livestock.

          • Roisin

            Put a bullet in the horses head after you have worked him for years and he is no longer “profitable” to you. But no, you must get the last dollar out of him by selling him to a horrific end in a slaughter house. Where is your soul ?.

          • Mr. Moo

            yea yea… certainly you are.. I know Texas, you buy my hay for 220 a ton delivered then tell me you will send a check in 30 days after it’s off the truck ..

            those of you that have range that’s owned by the taxpayers and you lease for a tiny fee

            and those of you that do own land and get $$$ for The CRP Set aside” program for ground that’s totally junk

            ..try again … anyway we’r getting way way off topic

          • rancher

            Sorry buddy, never bought any hay from you. Only deeded land on my place. No CRP ground. No government handouts. I own my place and everything on it. If I have a bull with a broke penis, he goes to the sale barn. If an old cow comes up open (not pregnant), she goes to the sale barn. If an old mare is crippled or barren, she goes to the sale barn. These are just the economics of ranch life and some of you folks just don’t get it and never will.

          • Joyce Moore

            Horses are not raised as food producing animals. Nearly every horse in the US has been given bute and other drugs that are BANNED from use in food producing animals. Apparently you don’t believe that federal laws apply to Texas. Surprise, they do. It’s illegal to ship horses to slaughter that are unable to bear weight on all four limbs so your crippled mare would be rejected for slaughter and turned loose to die in the desert. With regard to your barren mares, if they aren’t worth more than $0.25 per pound then you need to quit breeding and/or geld your stud.

          • rancher

            My mares are pasture bred. Over 90% conception rate. If an old mare doesn’t conceive 2 years in a row, she is not producing and is culled. I don’t raise market colts. All foals are raised to be ranch horses on my place. Young horses are started as 2 y/o’s and then put to work at 3. I have good ranch horses that are in their late teen’s and early 20′s, but some of them are culled early because of ability or soundness. If mares are good ranch horses and can be spared from work they will go in the broodmare band at 10 to 12 years of age. I don’t use any drugs on my horses. I vaccinate young horses, and worm young horses but after 3 years of age they have no shots or worming. My horses are tough and sound. I raise horses because I need horses in my business. They are not pets. I can assure you that an old barren mare that is packing a leg because of an arthritic knee is not going to be rejected from a slaughter plant. If you want to buy her at market value, whatever that is, feel free to raise your hand.

          • Roisin

            How many horses do you send to slaughter over a 2-3 yr. period ? It seems you are breeding a lot of horses and indiscriminately too. You must have inbreeding from what you describe !
            Were you hoping to get a better price per lb. for your “culls” in the domestic slaughter “business” ? I suppose your “culls” have been going to Mexico over the years.
            I guess in your operation you have to squeeze every last nickel out of every animal, right ? I lived in Texas at one time and the land is pretty harsh so maybe that makes ranchers like you harsh.
            Have you ever kept an old horse around because he was a favorite, and did everything asked of him or is he culled too ? Have you ever watched horse slaughter ?
            PS The demand for horse meat is on the wane in Europe and many horse butchers in France have gone out of business.

          • rancher

            Actually, European demand for horse meat is dramatically increased according to a recent article in The Horse. Pass the cheval. I’ll take mine medium rare.

          • Roisin

            You are pretty much a gadfly ! And I really do not care what you eat or how you eat it !!!
            Your information contradicts a recent article in the WSJ.
            Good luck and enjoy the rest of your time in Texas, if that is where you live !!

          • rancher

            I didn’t write the article. “European Countries See Increased Horsemeat Demands” by Christa Leste-Lasserre, May 31, 2013 the Horse magazine.

      • janna

        sounds like a few jerk killer buyers we have known of&worked to drive out of business can imagine what this guys place looks like

        • rancher

          It looks like miles and miles of Texas. I don’t believe you and any of your kind will be in this country trying drive this rancher out of business. Never forget how the west was won.

          • 14151617

            ON HORSE BACK.NOT ON THE DINNER PLATE

          • rancher

            No.
            With a repeater and a six gun.

          • Roisin

            While walking !!!!

          • 14151617

            My thoughts exactly. Must have been reading Suey’s script.

      • NY Horseman

        Have you sold horses to the killer that have received drugs banned from food animals?

        Actually, unlike cattle, hogs and chickens, according to FDA (The US Food & Drug Administration) horses are companion animals.

        FDA classification as ‘companion’ is why horses can get medications not legal for food animals, like Bute, Clenbuterol, Regumate, wormers, fly sprays.. the list of common horse meds not legal in food animals is long!

        These drugs are legal for horses, but can cause cancer, birth defects, liver failure, aplastic anemia, miscarriage etc in people.

        Take Bute – the toxic human dose is so variable from person to person, there
        is no known safe dose. Kids are really vulnerable. Residues never wash out, that’s why the rule is, one dose and the horse can never go to slaughter.

        The old way is to think of horse slaughter as an entitlement, paid for by the taxpayers, but the old ways are changing.

        We need to breed and train responsibly, and stop thinking of the food supply as a disposal service.

        • rancher

          I would hope that people like you would get your facts straight. Horses are livestock both traditionally and legally. If you think that cattle and hogs are not wormed, treated for external pests and parasites, given antibiotics and other medications not used in humans; then you are completely ignorant.

          • betterthannothing

            Some of us care enough about animals and our health and know enough about profit-boosting chemicals used by ranchers and feedlots to stay away from your meat for health and ethical reasons.

          • Roisin

            Thank you ! You said it for me. I wonder if Mr. Rancher belongs to the Texas Cattleman’s Association ? The group sued Oprah Winfrey during the “mad cow” (BSE) debacle, and lost.
            It is outrageous that drugs such as ractopamine in pigs, optaflex in cattle and tomax in poultry , the so called finishing drugs, are given before slaughter with the purpose of increasing lean body mass and therefore profit. In pigs the drug is said to increase profit by $2.00 a head ! The main focus of the meat industry is profit and any means to increase same.
            For the sake of brevity I will not go into how these drugs work, but suffice to say, this type of drug will kill people with heart problems !!

            PS Several countries stopped importing pork from the US because of the drug.

          • Joyce Moore

            Sickening, but true. Every commercial dairy that I’ve been to is better stocked with drugs than my vets office is. Records? What records?

          • 14151617

            Ignorant.Really, so if we don’t want to be fed meat that is tainted by drugs not to be given to animals for human consumption ,we had better stop eating meat produced by U S ranchers.
            You see most of us already know that, therefore we don’t eat the meat that U S rancher produce.That doesn’t sound ignorant to me at all.
            But you just keep on doing what you please and I will keep on being the ignorant fool that I am.

          • rancher

            Yup! That’s what I said in the beginning. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. You stay out of my business and I’ll stay out of yours. I hope your vegetarian diet is home grown; wouldn’t want any trace of pesticides or herbicides tainting those carrots you killed by ripping them violently from the ground.

          • 14151617

            I am not in your business Rancher you seem to have jumped right in to mine and others who feel as I do.I grow or purchase everything possible from my neighbors who do the same.Anything that is a living breathing thing I take into my life for work or pleasure I take responsiblity for its life and well being which includes a painless peaceful death when it’s quality of life, not it’s usefullness has come to and end.Living’s being’s at my home are not disposed of like a broken down tractor.
            May the blessing of life and happiness be with you always.

          • circusticket

            Grass fed, organic beef from Uruguay is available at my local grocery.

            I hope that your “mind my own business” philosophy extends to same sex marriage, to women’s rights, etc. Because there are some Republicans out there who want to tell the rest of us what we can do in our bedrooms.

          • ziggiepop

            We have been reading all about your industry lately. Seems it is far from what you all proclaim it to be.

          • Convene

            Of course our cattle and hogs are treated for internal and external parasites. They’re also given nutrient supplements (no growth hormones!) in areas where feed is deficient and antibiotics when they’re sick. That’s called good husbandry. Those are things that either aren’t harmful or pass on very quickly, long before slaughter. Up here we don’t have free range; we have to own all the land where our animals run, so the livestock business can be cost- and labor intensive. But we still don’t feel that the animal who serves us day in and day out, helping manage the logistics, belong in a kill pen when they are no longer useable.

          • Joyce Moore

            You aren’t understanding the issue. The issue isn’t that food producing animals are given drugs that humans don’t take. The issue is that some of these drugs are BANNED from use in food producing animals because of the known harm they can cause to humans.

          • ziggiepop

            Which is why many people no longer eat meat made in America, sparky. Drug riddled and abusively, inhumanely raised, and killed.

      • betterthannothing

        rancher, why is horse slaughter so important to you:

        - to make a few bucks instead of spending a few?

        - to keep animal welfare activists out of your pure livestock business?

        - to retain complete power and control over animals (and activists) because it is essential to your culture and mental equilibrium?

        Are you against euthanasia, especially veterinarian-assisted euthanasia?

        Do you actually have a decency line drawn on behalf of your domestic animals that you are unwilling to cross?

        • Roisin

          Rancher must have invested in the domestic horse slaughter “business” . That would explain why it is so important to him. After all, he has been able to sell as many horses as he wants to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. So it is not about the availability of slaughter. Another possibility is he is thinking of breeding horses for slaughter or thinks he can make more per lb selling his usual “culls” to domestic slaughter houses.
          Whatever the details, the bottom line is about money for Rancher and you can bet on that !!!

          • rancher

            Sorry to disappoint, but I am not invested in the domestic horse slaughter business. I am, however, invested in my ranch that is the livelihood for me and my family. Every critter on this place has a purpose and as with any business, that purpose is to make money. As “Mr.Moo” pointed out, horses are not as efficient as other species in food conversion, so I am not about to raise horses for the sole purpose of slaughter. I also will not feed an animal that is not productive since that is a business loss. You animal huggers should get behind the domestic slaughter if you think going to Mexico is so bad.

          • Roisin

            I’m not in the least bit disappointed, so no need to be “sorry” !!!
            However, you really told all I need to know when you resorted to saying “you animal huggers “. I enjoy my animals, horses, dogs and cats too. My life is enriched tremendously every day I’m around them.
            The only reference I made to Mexico was in terms of the availability of slaughter. “If I think going to Mexico is so bad ” is an assumption on your part because I never expressed an opinion concerning Mexico one way or an other. Slaughter is slaughter whether in Mexico, Canada or the US !!
            And as I said before, I wish you you luck. Enjoy the rest of your time in Texas or where ever you are.
            PS I have always found the WSJ reporting to be pretty accurate.

  • nu-fan

    There was an episode on National Geographic (if I remember, correctly) on television this past week about an individual who goes undercover at slaughter houses as well as dairy industry. I wish I would have saved it to my DVR. But, perhaps, everyone should be made to watch this particular episode. It drives home what actually happens at these facilities. Very difficult to watch. And, yes, there are some states that are legislating against such types of recordings. Fear of the public turning against the dairy and meat processing facilities. But, it is what it is and the idea that horses (who are not raised, in the U.S., for food production) going to that end is totally reprehensible. And, regardless of what kind of inspection is provided, horse meat will end up co-mingled with other food products. That would happen. See how that will impact some of our well-known and respected food industries–and, the economy.

  • Larry Kettles

    We take in retired TB’s. Who is going to pay to feed,vet and rehab them? Our heart goes out to these horse. My wife and I cannot keep them all. Step up with some funds not talk. Larry Kettles

  • randy

    Listen up until the flow of horses is stopped to Mexico slaughter will continue!!!!

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