HSUS Urging Airlines to Stop Shipping Horsemeat

The Humane Society of the United States has called on American and Delta airlines to stop shipping horsemeat from slaughterhouses in Texas to Europe and Asia for human consumption. The request comes on the heels of a federal appeals court ruling last week upholding a 1949 Texas law making the possession of horsemeat for human consumption illegal in that state.

An HSUS investigation of the slaughter industry last fall documented American and Delta airlines loading horsemeat into cargo bins outside the Dallas Crown slaughter plant in Kaufman, Tex. The shipment of illegal cargo violates the published shipping policies of both airlines.

In a letter sent to the airlines today (Jan. 23), HSUS Vice President for Animal Protection Litigation Jonathan Lovvorn explained that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week overturned a lower court decision that invalidated a Texas state law banning the sale of horsemeat for human consumption. The Court also concluded that the plants are in fact violating Texas law. The two slaughterhouses in Texas--Dallas Crown, Inc., in Kaufman and Beltex in Fort Worth--could seek further review of the ruling by the Supreme Court, but such review is granted in less than 1% of cases.

Earlier this month, The HSUS wrote to American, Delta and Continental airlines asking the companies to end their involvement with "an illegal, as well as inhumane, business venture." Neither American nor Delta has responded to the organization's request for a meeting. Continental Airlines told an HSUS representative the airline had already voluntarily stopped shipping horsemeat overseas.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, S. 311/H.R. 503 was introduced Jan. 17 by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.), with 12 original cosponsors, and Reps. Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.) Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), John Spratt (D-S.C.), and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) with 62 original cosponsors.

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