Groups File Injunction to Halt Horsemeat Inspections

On Feb. 22, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), along with several other groups filed for an injunction to prevent the inspections of horsemeat (scheduled to start March 10) until a pending lawsuit prohibiting the fee-for-service inspections could be settled. In response, the USDA on Feb. 27 filed an opposition to the groups' request, alleging that the HSUS's legal arguments are flawed, and the merits of the lawsuit should be decided in court. As of March 1, the court had not ruled on either request.

The HSUS was joined in its lawsuit by the Animal Welfare Institute, The Fund for Animals, the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, the Doris Day Animal League, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Humane Association, and residents living near the three U.S. horsemeat processing plants in Texas and Illinois.

The Feb. 14 suit alleged that USDA's fee-for-service inspections go against the Congressional intent of the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which eliminated funding for USDA inspections of horsemeat, and are in violation of the Federal Meat Inspection Act. The HSUS says citizens were denied an opportunity to comment on the fee-for-service program.
 
The USDA pointed out in its opposition that a call for comments was published in the Feb. 8 Federal Register when the fee-for-service program was announced. Comments will be accepted until March 10. (For more information on the suit see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=6613; for details on the fee-for-service program see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=6599.)

About the Author

Chad Mendell

Chad Mendell is the former Managing Editor for TheHorse.com .

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