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On Monday, November 4, a federal appeals court granted an emergency request by animal rights groups to temporarily block the expected reopening of horse slaughter plants in the U.S. After eleven years, horse slaughter was expected to resume as early as this week after a U.S. District judge in New Mexico last Friday threw out a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal protection groups.

The lawsuit by HSUS et al alleged that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), responsible for inspection of processing plants, failed to carry out environmental reviews before granting approval to the three companies scheduled to resume slaughter. The district judge in New Mexico dismissed the suit on Friday, clearing the way for horse processing to resume.

HSUS et al responded on Monday, in their emergency request to the 10th Circuit, by arguing that an emergency injunction was necessary to prevent environmental harm. A two-judge panel granted the request.

The anticipated resumption of horse slaughter was enabled mainly by a General Accounting Office (GAO) report to Congress that their 2006 legislation resulting in the closing of all horse processing plants in this country actually turned out to be detrimental to horse welfare.

For more details, click to read Terry Baynes’s Reuters article.

Posted November 5, 2013

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