Horse slaughterhouse closes after verdict
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2007:
DALLAS–Horse slaughter in the U.S. for human consumption
appeared to be closer to an end on March 23, 2007, when the Dallas
Crown slaughterhouse in Kaufman, Texas, temporarily laid off staff.
“We have decided temporarily not to process, because we have
some changes to make here,” Dallas Crown spokesperson Chris Soenen
told Michael Gresham of the Kaufman Herald. Soenen said that “just
about everyone other than administration” had been sent home, but
said this did not mean Dallas Crown would be going out of business.
“This is just temporary as we restructure,” Soenen said.
The entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on
March 6, 2007 affirmed a January 20, 2007 appellate panel ruling
that Dallas Crown and Beltex Corporation, of Fort Worth, have
killed horses for human consumption in violation of a 1949 state law.
Dallas Crown has also operated since March 2006 in defiance
of an order to close from the Kaufman Board of Adjustments, which
according to Gresham, “determined Dallas Crown to be a public
nuisance as well as a health and safety hazard.”
Dallas Crown, Beltex, and Cavel International of DeKalb,
Illinois, were the only horse slaughterhouses left in the U.S.,
killing 108,000 horses in 2006. About 30,400 horses were sent to
Canada, Mexico, and Japan for slaughter.
A slaughterhouse in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, reportedly kills
as many as 15,000 horses per year, 80% of them from the U.S.
The Humane Society of the U.S. on March 20, 2007 served
notice of intent to sue Cavel International for alleged violations of
the federal Clean Water Act. “The violations include the documented
release of excessive ‘animal residue’ into the local sewer system,”
said HSUS spokesperson Leslie Porter. “The plant slaughters more
than 500 horses a week and discharges aproximately 13,000 gallons of
wastewater per day during operations.”
Legislation pending in Congress and before the Illinois
legislature seeks to ban killing horses for human consumption. A
bill to repeal the 1949 Texas law has been introduced into the Texas
legislature by state representative Sid Miller (R-Stephenville.)
The legislation does not prohibit killing horses as animal
feed, a less lucrative branch of the business.