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Horsemeat saga continues 

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The American Veterinary Medical Association is *for* horse slaughter? Even with the knowledge of what type of drugs are administered to the majority of horses? This is not the first time the AVMA has come out on the side of Big Ag – click here to find out more. ~ HfH

From: The Emporia Gazette
By: Frank J Buchman

rains“It’s just another entry in the horse slaughter saga.”

That might be considered a bit snide interpretation, but after so much rigmarole and controversy, one could easily get the feeling that whatever is announced, processing of horses in this country is still a long ways off.

No less than a half dozen times in two years, main media sources have announced that machinery was in place so horse packing plants could be open within days.

This time, the story on the forefront seems the same, as those from all directions continue their distinct opinions of what’s right, what’s wrong, why should, why shouldn’t horses be processed for meat?

Debate continues with government regulators, business interests, horse breeders and owners, outspoken-good-doers, big-dollar fundraising humane interests, legal negotiators and even those who sure wouldn’t mind having a horse steak for supper, as packing facility owners want to open their doors for horse processing right now.

After months of delay, an appeals court judge has lifted an emergency injunction blocking three packing companies from processing horses for meat, and now these proposed operations may be able to move forward, as has been previously announced.

In its Friday, Dec. 13, ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit said animal-rights groups, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Front Range Equine Rescue, “failed to meet their burden” for continuing an injunction.

Congress effectively banned horse slaughter in 2006 by halting United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant inspections. Due to Congressional action that lifted the ban in 2011, USDA is required to grant inspection for facilities to engage in commercial horse slaughter.

Proposed operations include Valley Meat Company in New Mexico, Responsible Transportation in Iowa, and Rains Natural Meats in Missouri.

Plaintiffs in the case had argued that the operations could produce “irreversible environmental harm from toxic horse slaughter byproducts, ” and that USDA did not carry out proper environmental assessments.

However, the appeals court ruled that the animal advocate groups did not provide sufficient evidence that the operations would cause irreparable harm to the environment.

The animal advocate groups plan to continue to file appeals for a permanent ban.

Although horse meat is not sold for human consumption in the United States, some horse welfare groups, including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), do not oppose the facilities due to the overpopulation of horse herds on native lands and the subsequent resource depletion. Another issue is one of animal welfare-specifically, abandonment of unwanted horses, as well as inhumane treatment.

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