A recent decision by the USDA has led to a lawsuit being filed by the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, Marin Humane Society, Horses for Life Foundation, Return to Freedom and five private individuals.
The lawsuit, filed under the National Environmental Protection act, seeks to block and outlaw the slaughter of American horses for human consumption. Concerns cited in the litigation include horses being fed with a number of substances dangerous to human health. The contamination of water and soil surrounding a horse slaughter facility were also cited, as was the stench and poor treatment of the horses as they are moved through the slaughter pipeline. Several incidents of injuries were documented by the USDA when plants were still operating inside the United States.
The recent decision by the USDA means plants may soon begin operation in the U.S. for the first time since 2007 in New Mexico. The plaintiffs also say that plants could soon be up and running in Iowa and Missouri.
Several lawmakers on the House and Senate Appropriations Committee voted last month to block funding for inspections of horse slaughtering facilities in the 2014 Fiscal Year Budget. That included a request for Congress to prevent tax dollars from supporting horse slaughter.