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Texas Anti-Slaughter Law Upheld

January 24, 2007     E-mail this page to a friend!

A federal appeals court in Louisiana has ruled that a 1949 state law in Texas banning the sale of horsemeat for human consumption is enforceable. The ruling would halt operations at two of the three existing horse slaughter plants in the United States. The third slaughterhouse is in Illinois.
Attorneys for the two slaughterhouses argued that the state law had been replealed or otherwise pre-empted by federal law, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Louisiana, ruled that the state law remains intact. The slaughterhouses are owned by Beltex Corporation and Dallas Crown, Inc.
The ruling frees local prosecutors in Texas counties to pursue action against the slaughterhouses.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), other animal-rights organizations, and the Thoroughbred industry have advocated a ban on horse slaughter, bringing the issue national attention.
In 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a wide margin, legislation to ban horse slaughter for the purposes of human consumption, but the Senate never picked up the bill. This year, legislation has already been introduced in both houses.