Illinois slaughter plant re-opens pending legal action

4 06 2007

Update to last week’s post:

A federal judge ruled Friday to allow a horse slaughtering plant in northern Illinois to resume operations temporarily while challenging a state law that forced it to close last week.

Belgian-owned Cavel International Inc. filed a lawsuit May 25 claiming a new law banning the slaughter of horses intended for human consumption is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Kapala granted the temporary restraining order that prevents state and DeKalb County officials from enforcing the ban while the suit is considered.

The DeKalb plant operated legally for 20 years. It closed twice this year over the horse meat issue, first temporarily in March after a federal court said plant inspections were being improperly funded by the Agriculture Department, and then again last week after Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a law banning the import, export, possession and slaughter of horses intended for human consumption.

Cavel shipped horse meat to Europe and was the only horse-slaughtering facility still operating in the U.S.

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Last American slaughter plant closes in Illinois

30 05 2007

The state with the nation’s last operating horse slaughterhouse made it illegal to kill the animals for human consumption on Thursday.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he was proud to sign the law, calling it “past time to stop slaughtering horses in Illinois.” A slaughterhouse in DeKalb has been shipping horse meat overseas, where it is sold for people to eat. The practice has outraged people who feel horses are more like pets than livestock. A phone call to Cavel International’s plant went unanswered Thursday evening.

Two other horse slaughter plants in Texas were shut down this year.

Illinois lawmakers passed the ban after an appeal from actress Bo Derek. In a statement, she applauded the move. Link

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Four more organizations join The Unwanted Horse Coalition

17 05 2007

Four more equine organizations have joined the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC), bringing the total number of members to 16. The mission of the UHC is to educate the public on the issue of unwanted horses and to remind people to “Own Responsibly.”

“The UHC is pleased to welcome new group members the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, the Mustang Heritage Foundation, the Masters of Foxhounds Association of North America, and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association,” said UHC Chairman Dr. Tom Lenz.

The resources and support that UHC member organizations offer will be invaluable as the coalition works towards the ultimate goal of reducing the number of unwanted horses and improving the welfare of these horses.

The new organizations join current members of the coalition, which include the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, The Jockey Club, National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Professional Rodeo Stock Contractors, AHC State Horse Council Committee, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, United States Equestrian Federation, and U.S. Trotting Association.

“It is very encouraging to see so many organizations recognizing the plight of unwanted horses as an important issue and stepping up to the plate to help make a difference,” said Jay Hickey, president of the American Horse Council, under whose auspices the UHC operates.

To learn more about the UHC and this issue and your responsibilities, visit the UHC Web site at www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org. (Story link)

Related posts:

Buy one, get one free?!

Barbaro update, and a challenge to those who say they love horses

DonateMyHorse.com

The Unwanted Horse Coalition

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Horse: it’s what’s for dinner?

7 05 2007

British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has said that consumers should consider eating horse meat, as a safe and nutritious alternative to beef and other meats. Link What never seems to occur to him or anyone else, ethical and moral questions aside, is that horses are not raised and fed to be part of the food chain in the west, meaning that there is no way of knowing what sort of drugs, pathologies, chemicals etc. are actually present in the meat at the time of slaughter: wormers, Bute, antibiotics, you name it. (Hat tip to raincoaster for the story, btw)

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House votes to prevent commercial slaughter of wild horses and burros

26 04 2007

Wild Burros of the Owens Valley, originally uploaded by Snap Man.

The House voted Thursday to prevent the government from selling off for slaughter any wild horses and burros that roam public lands in the West.

The 277-137 vote would restore a 1971 law preventing the Bureau of Land Management from selling the animals for commercial processing.

The protection was removed in 2004 when former Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., inserted a measure in a spending bill allowing their sale. Read more

I hope they’ll be looking into alternative ways of keeping the populations down, such as making it easier to adopt these critters, immunocontraception, etc. About a quarter of the mustangs and burros rounded up never find homes…

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The Unwanted Horse Coalition

29 03 2007

The Unwanted Horse Council (UHC) announced has launched a new website and announced the release of an awareness brochure.

“The Unwanted Horse Coalition includes equine organizations that are concerned with the number of unwanted horses in the United States,” said Dr. Tom Lenz, Coalition Chairman.

“The website and brochure are our first steps in educating current and future owners, breeders, traders, and others involved with horses about the issue of the unwanted horse. Our goal is to make the coalition unnecessary.”

Both the website and brochure explain the UHC and its mission, which is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and to improve their welfare. It will do that through educational outreach and the efforts of various organizations committed to the health, safety, and responsible care and disposition of unwanted horses.

The UHC was created following the Unwanted Horse Summit that was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in April 2005. In June 2006, the group was folded into the American Horse Council and now operates under its auspices.

In addition to information about the UHC, the website provides resources and links for retiring and rescuing horses, methods for handling the loss of a horse, and suggestions to help people “Own Responsibly,” which is the motto of the UHC.

“We want people to learn how to own responsibly,” Jay Hickey, President of the American Horse Council, said. “If they buy, sell, and treat horses responsibly, there will be fewer unwanted horses.”

The website will be updated regularly with news releases and publications describing the progress of the UHC and the plight of the unwanted horse. Both the website and the brochure provide information on how to become a member of the UHC and how to contribute to the UHC. (Via HorseTalkNZ)

Related posts:

Buy one, get one free?!

Barbaro update, and a challenge to those who say they love horses

DonateMyHorse.com

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Court ruling shuts down Illinois slaughter plant

29 03 2007

Horse Trailer Photo 2, originally uploaded by EquineGuardian.

A federal appeals court’s decision Wednesday to block the Agriculture Department from providing horse meat inspections for a fee has repercussions for an Illinois plant.

The decision in a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States also is another setback for the horse slaughter industry overall.

In January, a federal appeals court upheld a 1949 Texas ban on the slaughter of horses for the purpose of selling the meat for human consumption overseas. The ruling forced two plants in Texas to scale back operations.

Wayne Pacelle, president of the humane society, said Wednesday’s ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia effectively shuts down operations at Cavel International Inc. in DeKalb, Ill., the only plant still fully operating in the U.S.

Congress stripped funding for horse meat inspections in 2005, but the USDA devised a plan to provide the inspections for a fee for slaughter plants. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, found the USDA did not follow federal procedures for setting up the inspection fee program. Link

Related posts:

House votes to stop sale of wild horses for slaughter

Audio debate: The end of the trail for American horses

House votes and horse polls

Did you know…

U.S. House passes Horse Slaughter Prevention Act

A call for help

No more horse slaughter in Texas

Horse news in brief, 2007-01-27

We Eat Horses, Don’t We?

Horses on auction list lead to fears of sale for slaughter

Kentucky “swamped” with unwanted horses

Humane society refutes horse dumping claims

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