Judge Allows Horse Slaughter to Resume in U.S. While Serious Concerns of Safety and Cruelty Remain

UPDATE: Horse slaughter back on hold for now: a federal appeals court on Monday granted an emergency request by animal protection groups to temporarily block the U.S. government from conducting inspections of horses destined for slaughter. http://reut.rs/17Daa0C

(Washington, DC) – The Animal Welfare Institute is deeply disappointed that a U.S. District Judge has allowed for the resumption of horse slaughter in the United States for the first time since plants in Illinois and Texas were closed under state law in 2007. While AWI will step up its efforts in Congress for a federal ban on horse slaughter, we hope that the appeals court will reconsider the overwhelming evidence that horse slaughter is harmful to the environment, public welfare, and the welfare of America’s horses, and reinstate the restraining order before any horses are slaughtered.

“Like the majority of Americans, we are deeply disappointed in this reversal by the judge, but it doesn’t change the fact that opposition to horse slaughter is stronger than ever and growing,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for AWI. “Since news broke that a plant in New Mexico was going to apply for a permit to slaughter horses, opposition has come from the Governor, Attorney General, and Land Commissioner of New Mexico, the President of the United States, and the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees. It is time to stop playing politics and swiftly pass the Safeguard American Food Exports Act (SAFE Act) to put an end to this cruel and predatory industry.”

AWI will continue working with the growing coalition of horse advocates, veterinarians, horse owners, Native Americans, and legislators on passage of the SAFE Act. Without this important bill, horses are at risk of being sent to slaughter in the United States and abroad.

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