A Judge in Albuquerque threw out a lawsuit that would block slaughterhouses from killing horses for human consumption.
District Judge Christina Armijo tossed the horsemeat lawsuit which was put forward by The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups.
They allege that the Department of Agriculture neglected to carry out full environmental studies when it gave permits to the Valley Meat Co. to slaughter horses for humans to eat.
The landmark decision by Judge Armijo ends a two-year battle to open the horsemeat slaughterhouse. Rick De Los Santos, who owns the plant in question said he was surprised by the Judge’s ruling.
Blair Dunn, the attorney for the Valley Meat Co. said: “If I were a betting man, I probably would have lost a lot of money on this. I thought the court was headed in a different direction on this since she had issued the TRO…. I am very, very happy to be wrong.”
De Los Santos said that during his fight to be allowed to slaughter horses, he and his wife have received numerous death threats. There was also a suspicious fire at the meat plant last summer.
“We will have some angry people I bet. But we are doing what we are supposed to and that’s it,” he said.
The president and CEO of The Humane Society, Wayne Pacelle, called for congress to impose a ban on all horse slaughter in America:
“With today’s court ruling and the very real prospect of plants resuming barbaric killing of horses for their meat in the states, we expect the American public to recognize the urgency of the situation and to demand that Congress take action,” he said.
It remains to be seen whether or not further horsemeat lawsuits will be brought to try and block the slaughtering of horses for human consumption.