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From: TSS ()
Date: January 22, 2007 at 9:43 am PST

2. Court rules horse slaughter illegal in Texas
El Paso Times
January 20, 2007

HOUSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled that horse slaughter is illegal in Texas, home to two of the nation's three processing plants.

The decision, issued late Friday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, overturns a lower federal district court s ruling last year on a 1949 Texas law that banned horse slaughter for the purpose of selling the meat for food.

The lower court had said the Texas law was invalid because it had already been repealed by another statute and pre-empted by federal law.

But in the 5th Circuit s decision, Judge Fortunato Benavides wrote that "The lone cowboy riding his horse on a Texas trail is a cinematic icon. Not once in memory did the cowboy eat his horse."

The ruling involves two of the nation s three horse slaughtering plants the Dallas Crown Inc. slaughter mill in Kaufman, Texas, and Beltex Corp. in nearby Forth Worth. A third plant run by Cavel International Inc. in DeKalb, Ill. is not affected by the ruling. All three facilities are foreign-owned. Mark Calabria, a
lawyer for Dallas Crown, could not be reached for comment today.

Full text:

Date: December 15, 2006 at 1:24 pm PST

THERE is more than one way to NOT skin a horse for human consumption, check out the countries that import USA horse, asses, mules and hinnies. ...TSS


U.S. Domestic Exports: 2006 and 2006 Year-to-Date, not Seasonally Adjusted

(FAS Value, in Thousands of Dollars)
(Units of Quantity: Kilogram)

January February March April May June July August September October Through October
Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value
.World 1,519,341 4,907 1,268,442 4,348 1,372,409 5,050 1,514,200 5,479 1,560,984 5,905 1,489,484 5,530 1,168,540 4,634 1,336,261 5,283 1,545,856 6,187 1,550,512 5,969 14,326,029 53,293
Bahamas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3,172 13 3,172 13
Belgium 514,682 1,663 423,153 1,567 421,801 1,577 492,214 1,701 474,540 1,819 368,193 1,465 345,090 1,341 387,310 1,527 467,983 1,749 547,184 2,027 4,442,150 16,436
Dominican Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3,266 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3,266 8
France 322,415 1,193 271,298 979 360,007 1,442 318,967 1,250 312,561 1,291 308,091 1,208 232,340 950 252,711 1,044 337,251 1,334 309,326 1,236 3,024,967 11,926
Germany 70,086 263 53,329 190 37,848 140 48,030 173 32,607 120 37,625 136 44,035 161 31,264 105 63,478 225 59,195 202 477,497 1,714
Italy 6,428 21 6,080 17 6,790 25 4,440 12 6,007 16 7,853 21 24,949 55 0 0 0 0 18,000 36 80,547 204
Japan 113,403 277 48,450 164 81,191 237 58,071 191 143,268 436 45,736 153 92,561 272 112,129 394 87,703 248 126,059 327 908,571 2,698
Mexico 244,966 430 291,575 504 146,409 255 113,700 183 71,781 172 121,120 309 43,338 173 51,119 204 66,410 265 73,809 295 1,224,227 2,791
Netherlands Antilles 0 0 0 0 0 0 2,801 16 1,674 12 697 7 1,174 10 1,763 6 6,525 39 1,628 6 16,262 98
Russia 93,750 113 37,500 45 137,460 196 274,890 546 324,870 688 399,694 865 228,379 529 324,137 755 247,906 589 235,549 598 2,304,135 4,921
Switzerland 141,705 930 137,057 882 168,997 1,161 201,087 1,406 193,676 1,350 197,209 1,359 156,674 1,143 175,828 1,249 257,711 1,719 176,590 1,229 1,806,534 12,428
Taiwan 11,906 19 0 0 11,906 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10,889 19 0 0 34,701 56

Source: Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Census Bureau.
Prepared by the Office of Trade and Industry Information (OTII), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.''exports''&p_endmth=''October''&p_table=ita.hs_mthytd_expdom_ts2006

Horse slaughter bill reaches trail’s end
By Elana Schor

The lobbying battle over banning horse slaughter for human consumption will move to the House floor this week as celebrity supporters square off against agricultural groups and members temporarily abandon election-year partisanship to consider the bill.

Consuming horsemeat is uncommon among Americans but remains an accepted practice overseas, creating a small market for three U.S.-based horse-slaughter plants. Reps. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) have secured a promise from GOP leaders for a Thursday vote on their plan to close those plants and halt government-sanctioned horse killing. But the bill has run into a surprising amount of opposition in a culture built on pony rides and cowboy movies.

Former Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas), now lobbying for a coalition of farm and veterinary groups seeking to bring down the bill, questioned why a bill banning horse slaughter merits floor time on one of the few legislative days remaining in the House’s crowded September session.

“A large number of members are surprised it’s coming to a vote,” Stenholm contended last week.

But the bill has broad support. Sweeney and Whitfield have joined with Democrats to round up more than 200 cosponsors after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sidestepped their amendment last year aimed at blocking funding for the slaughter plants.

Both factions have spent the August recess countering each other’s talking points, but the anti-slaughter contingent will benefit from an infusion of star power this week as actress Bo Derek, country legend Willie Nelson and Texas oil magnate T. Boone Pickens step up their promotion of the bill. Derek, Pickens and Nelson’s daughter are slated to appear at public rallies today.

“We’re making an all-out push,” Whitfield said in an interview. He acknowledged the strong opposition of Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who reported the bill unfavorably, but noted that the floor vote “demonstrate[s] that House leadership is willing to go against committee chairmen to bring a bill up that has never had an opportunity to see the light of day.”

In addition to Stenholm, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union and a host of state commodity groups have mobilized against the slaughter ban. The need to shelter and feed horses otherwise destined for processing would present an unnecessary fiscal burden, they argue, and horse owners who rely on government-inspected plants as a humane disposal method would be forced to resort to more cruel solutions if the bill passes.

“The problem comes in when the actual legislation isn’t given consideration aside from the emotional aspect,” said Goodlatte spokeswoman Alise Kowalski. “It doesn’t address the welfare of horses if they can’t be disposed of. This argument really is not about killing horses, it’s about what happens to horses after they are slaughtered.”

If a horse could be used for riding, farming or any other activity, “you would be selling it for a whole lot more than $200 to $300” to a slaughter plant, said Brent Gattis, a former Agriculture Committee deputy chief of staff who is lobbying against the measure alongside Stenholm.

Gattis also pointed to the bill as a possible precedent for banning slaughter of veal calves and other livestock, pointing to the role of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other controversial animal-activist groups.

But Chris Heyde, a Republican lobbyist for the Society for Animal Protection Legislation, noted that PETA has taken no position on the bill and scoffed at Stenholm’s argument that Congress should not legislate the morals of foreign horse-eating nations.

“That’s a hoot … to say, ‘Who are we to tell other cultures what they can and can’t do?’” Heyde said. “We’ve got a lot of hardworking Americans sitting in Iraq right now. Drugs and prostitution are legal in other parts of the world.”

The emotional and politically charged lobbying has spilled onto the Internet, where both sides have set up websites: pro-slaughter and anti-slaughter The pro-slaughter team’s site was hacked just before July’s Agriculture and Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on the bill, Stenholm said, directing visitors to anti-slaughter home pages.

Stenholm’s status as the Agriculture panel’s retired ranking member has made him a magnet for criticism from anti-slaughter lobbyists, who see him as aligned with Goodlatte.

“I think he’s just yukking it up over there with his old friends at the committee,” said one K Street Republican backing the bill, decrying exaggerated claims that the ban would leave “unwanted horses … running around the streets like cows in Calcutta.”

Agricultural industry opponents of the bill also have been contacting members during recess in a bid to convince enough cosponsors to defeat the bill. They believe they need to convince 52 supporters to vote against it, based on last year’s appropriations vote.

Yet Sweeney Deputy Chief of Staff Melissa Carlson said the USDA regulation that resulted from that legislative effort ended up bolstering the bill’s prospects, helping Sweeney convince GOP leaders that the department had achieved “an end run around Congress” and that the slaughter ban deserved a vote. Sweeney, an appropriator, ultimately voted against that agriculture appropriations bill in protest of how the USDA was going to implement his amendment.

Another famous horse-lover, Kinky Friedman, the freewheeling singer and novelist turned independent gubernatorial candidate in Texas, said he is watching the bill’s progress with interest.

“If they can do it, it’s going to be great,” Friedman said of the slaughter ban’s congressional backers. “I’ve got a lot more faith in what Texans can do.”

In fact, if the bill fails, Friedman plans to mount a vigorous state-level lobbying campaign to close the Lone Star State’s two horse-slaughter plants. Friedman has already enlisted three powerful allies in Nelson, Oscar-winning actor Robert Duvall and TV star Larry Hagman, a coalition he dubbed the “Four Horsemen of Texas.”

“[The bill’s opponents’] motto is ‘from the stable to the table.’ Our motto is, ‘save a horse, ride a cowboy,’” Friedman quipped.


Dear Senator:

After five years of increasing public demand for an end to horse slaughter, you have an immediate opportunity to end this cruel practice. Veterinarian and Senator John Ensign (R-NV) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have introduced S. 1915 to prevent the slaughter of horses for human consumption abroad. We ask you to support this bill, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

In August, a bipartisan House of Representatives voted overwhelming in favor (263-146) of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. This wide margin strongly reflects the will of the American people, despite last minute efforts by pro-horse slaughter organizations, who profit from this cruel industry, to derail the political process.

Horses have always been a symbol of America’s free spirit. No other animal stirs such an emotional reaction. They have carried our leaders into battles, pulled our wagons into the untamed West, and thrilled us through sport. In fact, horses such as Secretariat, Man O’ War and Citation are considered among the top 100 athletes of the 20th century. The famous story of Seabiscuit, a once “unwanted horse” turned great champion, was recently considered for an Oscar.

Yet regardless of their fame and notoriety, no animal should be hauled across the country under the unhealthy and cruel conditions slaughterbound horses face. Following their faithful service to humankind, our horses should not be killed at one of the three foreign-owned slaughterhouses in the United States so diners abroad can feast on their flesh.

We strongly support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and have rejected arguments from those who claim ending horse slaughter will be bad for horses. Don’t be misled; ending horse slaughter will be nothing but good for horses, and we are confident that once you consider the facts, you will agree.

We urge you to follow the recent vote by your colleagues in the House, as well as the outstanding leadership of Senator John Ensign and Senator Mary Landrieu on this issue, and to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, S. 1915. It’s not only about saving the lives of thousands of innocent horses; it’s about a better America.

On behalf of my friends, I thank you for your urgent consideration of the effort to end horse slaughter.


Ed Asner
Mrs. Gene Autry
Shane Barbi-Wahl
Sia Barbi
Barbara Bosson
Bruce Boxleitner
Jeff Bridges
Christie Brinkley
Keely and Pierce Brosnan
Kenny Chesney
Leonard Cohen
Rita Coolidge
Stewart Copeland
John Corbett
Alex Cord
Catherine Crier, Court TV
James Cromwell
Tony and Jill Curtis
Ellen DeGeneres
Ron Delsener - Ron Delsener Presents
Bo Derek
Clint Eastwood
Mike Epps
Will Estes
Shelley Fabares
Morgan Fairchild
Mike Farrell
Morgan Freeman
Kinky Friedman
Melissa Gilbert
Whoopi Goldberg
Jane Goodall, PhD.
Merv Griffin
Arlo Guthrie
Gene Hackman
Merle Haggard
Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus, Ohio
Daryl Hannah
Tess Harper
Tippi Hedren
Mariel Hemingway
Laura Hillenbrand - author of Seabiscuit
Shooter Jennings
George Jones
Ashley Judd
Toby Keith
Eddie Kilroy, Program Director, "Willie's Place" XM 13
Carole King
Johnny Knoxville
Carson Kressley
Kris Kristofferson
Chief Arvol Looking Horse - 19th generation keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and holds the responsibility of spiritual leader among the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota People
George Lopez
Mrs. Roger (Mary) Miller
Steve Miller
Mary Tyler Moore
Sir Paul McCartney
Ali McGraw
Jesse & Joy McReynolds of Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys - Entertainer, Member of the Grand Ole Opry, Bluegrass Music legend
Connie Nelson - Outlaw Management
Willie Nelson
Olivia Newton-John
Tatjana Patitz
Alexandra Paul
The late Richard and Jennifer Lee Pryor
Bonnie Raitt
Carl Reiner
Keith Richards
Eric Roberts
Dale Robertson
Kid Rock
Theresa Russell
William Shatner
Nicollette Sheridan
Chris Shivers - two-time PBR World Champion
Paul Sorvino
Mira Sorvino
Loretta Swit
Bernie Taupin
Billy Bob Thornton
Rob Thomas
Marisol Thomas
John Trudell
Tanya Tucker
Shania Twain
Ken Wahl
Mike White – 1999 PRCA World Champion
Noah Wylie
Dwight Yoakam

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: House enters potential MAD/TSE horse meat debate (BELTEX French owned and Crown Belgian)
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 09:52:40 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

April 20, 2003, 9:49PM

House enters horse meat debate

Two North Texas slaughterhouses are fighting in court to stay open

Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN -- In a state where horses have long been revered for their
service on cattle drives and in combat, the Texas Legislature is about
to consider whether they also should fill another role: food for the
dinner table.

For years, two companies in North Texas have produced horse meat for
human consumption and shipped it to foreign countries. Only last year
did they learn that it was illegal, thanks to an opinion by
then-Attorney General John Cornyn.

The opinion, sought by an animal rights activist, said it is a crime to
sell or possess horse meat with an intent to use it for human consumption.

The companies -- Dallas Crown Packaging of Kaufman and Beltex Corp. of
Fort Worth -- are the only two firms in the country that still process
horse meat for foreign tables. Now they are fighting on two fronts to
stay in business.

They have gone to court to try to overturn the attorney general's ruling
and have asked the Legislature to change the law.

State Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell, is sponsoring House Bill 1324, which
would allow them to remain open.

"It would make what they do legal because they don't sell food products
for human consumption in the United States," said David Broiles,
attorney for the horse slaughter companies.

Brown did not respond to several requests for comment, but her staff
provided information. A House committee has approved her bill, which is
scheduled for debate by the full House on Tuesday.

Shortly after Cornyn issued his opinion in August, the companies also
went to court for an injunction to prohibit the Tarrant and Kaufman
county district attorneys' offices from enforcing the law. A judge's
decision also is expected Tuesday.

Prosecutors agreed to wait until a judge ruled on the injunction before
taking any action against the two facilities.

Horse meat is a delicacy in several countries, including Belgium,
France, Italy and Japan, where diners consider it healthier than
grain-fed, hormone-laced beef.

Jeanne H. Freeland-Graves, head of the division of nutritional sciences
at the University of Texas at Austin, said horse meat is a little leaner
than beef but nutritionally is about the same. She also said
hormone-free beef can be purchased.

"I think it's a matter of preference," Freeland-Graves said. "In Asia
they eat crickets, and we don't eat crickets because it's not socially

Skip Trimble, who represents the Texas Humane Legislation Network and
several national thoroughbred organizations that oppose Brown's bill,
said he began the inquiry that led to Cornyn's ruling against the
slaughter plants.

"This law (HB 1324) is a response to the opinion," he said. "These
plants should be shut down because they are violating state law."

Shane Sklar, executive director of the Independent Cattlemen's
Association of Texas, disagrees. He said he supports the bill because he
is concerned about what would otherwise happen to horses that should be

"We want to keep these slaughterhouses open in the state of Texas,"
Sklar said. "I think it's really important that we keep these two we
have functioning."

He said some ranchers cannot afford to euthanize animals that have
outlived their usefulness. Without the option of auctioning them to
slaughter plants, some ranchers will allow such horses to roam ranches
in poor health until they die, which he thinks is inhumane.

"Or they'll go to Mexico, where we don't know how they are treated," he

But Trimble said 90 percent of the horses slaughtered at the two plants
come from outside Texas, according to information filed in the
companies' lawsuits.

Trimble also said the method of horse slaughter used at the two plants
is exceptionally cruel and inhumane. A special type of gun fires a stun
bolt between their eyes to render them unconscious, he said.

A similar method is used with cattle, but Trimble said the guns are more
accurate with cattle because cows are shorter and accustomed to being
handled in herds.

Horses are more excitable and have long necks, so their heads are above
the chute, he said. The American Veterinary Medical Association
specifies that horses are supposed to be properly restrained, but
Trimble said that is nearly impossible in slaughterhouse conditions.

He said it can take a few bolts to render a horse unconscious. It's
painful for the horse, and sometimes the animals may mistakenly have
their throats slit while still alive, he added.

Beltex Corp., owned by a French company, has been in business for 27
years. Dallas Crown Packaging bought a pre-existing company and is owned
by a Belgian firm.

Since the slaughter facilities are foreign-owned, the profits go overseas.

"They produce a product that uses our natural resource, and their
product is against the law for you to buy or eat," Trimble said.

How many other laws, he asked, allow a foreign company "to come to our
country, use our resources and produce a product, and we can't buy it,
use it or eat it?"

The slaughterhouses also produce food sold to some zoos in the United
States, as well as other products such as hides, hooves and pericardia,
the thin, membranous sacs around the heart that are used in human
open-heart surgeries.

Broiles said that about 100 pericardia are sold per week to a company in
California and shipped to Switzerland, where they are processed and
distributed all over the world.

"If they didn't have these two plants, they wouldn't have that tissue,"
Broiles said.

Greetings List Members,

NOW, for all you Countries exporting USA HORSES to EAT, what about
the potential for TSE through cross contamination ???

RE-FDA Considering Tighter Restrictions on Animal Feed New York Times
Syndicate, January 12, 2003
Date: January 13, 2003 at 2:29 pm PST


> The following custom mixed animal feeds are recalled --- a)
> [non-ruminant]: ''Horse Feed'', Hog Feed, and 14% Pig Feed. Recall #
> V-157-2; b) [ruminant]: Dairy Feed, Steer Feed, New Goat Feed, Cattle
> Feed, and Beef Feed. Recall # V-158-2. CODE The product is coded only
> with the manufacturing date and invoice numbers. All feed products
> manufactured and shipped since July 9, 2001 are affected by this recall.
> RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER Recalling Firm: Shepard Grain Company, Inc.,
> Urbana, OH, by telephone on January 11, 2002. Manufacturer: Shepard
> Grain Company, Inc., W. Liberty, OH. FDA initiated recall is complete.
> REASON Ruminant and non-ruminant animal feeds contain BSE prohibited
> material, and are either misbranded or adulterated.
> 41,129 LBS (20.5 tons).



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