Iowa will not begin slaughtering horses after judge’s decision

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Plans for an Iowa company to begin the slaughter of horses have been halted.

On Friday, August 2, 2013, a federal judge put a stop to plans in the works by New Mexico and Iowa companies that would start slaughtering unwanted, wild, or abandoned horses, according to a report by USA Today.

The U.S. Humane Society, and other animal rights groups, brought on a lawsuit against the horse slaughtering that caused a national debate. From that lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo issued a restraining order.

Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa would have resumed the practice of euthanizing horses on Monday, which was banned in America in 2006.

According to the report, in June of 2013, the Department of Agriculture gave the company a permit to begin slaughtering horses. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that the department didn’t do the appropriate environmental studies before issuing the permits.

The company borrowed $1.5 million and had $1.4 million from investors to start operations, according to the company’s attorney, Pat Rogers.

“It’s a small company in a small town,” Rogers said. “That’s going to have significant economic impact.”

Rogers said that under current law, old and unwanted horses have to be shipped to slaughterhouses in other countries, sometimes in inhumane conditions.

“We’ve won a temporary but life-saving reprieve for horses,” said president and CEO of the Humane Society, Wayne Pacelle. “It’s good news indeed that the kill boxes in New Mexico and Iowa will be empty of horses in the weeks ahead.”

He said when the case resumes in a month, they will continue to make arguments that the plants cannot operate due to inadequate environmental review.