Horse Slaughter Legislative Timeline 2007

State and Federal Legislation
110th U.S. Congress (2007—2008)

DATE VENUE ACTIVITY RESULT
January 2007 Kentucky General Assembly Kentucky lawmakers consider ban on horse slaughter. Senate Bill 6. Unsuccessful.
January 2007 110th Congress 1st Session Jan 05: HR 249. US Reps Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky) introduce bill restoring the 34-year ban on the commercial sale and slaughter of America’s wild, free-roaming horses and burros. Bill introduced. Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.See Thomas.gov
January 2007 110th Congress 1st Session Jan 17: HR 503 / S 311. US Reps Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Nick Rahall (D-WV), and John Spratt (D-SC) reintroduce federal legislation to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption (HR 503). Companion bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) (HR 311). HR 503 See Thomas.govS 311 See Thomas.gov
January 2007 House Committee on Agriculture US Department of Agriculture and the House agriculture, energy and commerce committees urge fellow members of congress to vote against HR 503. Nation’s Veterinarians and County Government Officials Agree citing the cost to taxpayers will be millions and making conditions worse for “Unwanted Horses”. Legislation and rulings fuel controversy.
January 2007 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals; New Orleans Jan 19: Beltex Corp. of Fort Worth and Dallas Crown of Kaufman, file suit challenging the law arguing that a ban would violate the Constitution’s commerce clause and federal meat inspection laws. Unsuccessful.
January 2007 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals; New Orleans Jan 19: Panel of judges from the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rules slaughtering horses for meat is illegal in Texas. Successful.
February 2007 Texas – State Legislative Updates Dallas Crown and Beltex horse slaughtering plants that operate in Texas consider an appeal to the US Supreme Court, as well as legislation to overturn the Texas statute. Unsuccessful.
February 2007 AVMA on the 52nd Annual AAEP Convention in Dec ‘06 David L. Foley, executive director of the AAEP states that the AAEP will oppose the legislation (HR 503) once again and will go about the business of trying to educate a new Congress on the issue. No significant impact.
February 2007 Illinois Feb 22: Anti-Horse Slaughter legislation HB 1711 is introduced in Illinois State legislature that would prohibit the transportation of horses into the state for the sole purpose of slaughter for human consumption. Successful.
March 2007 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals: New Orleans March 05: The entire 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals affirms an earlier panel decision upholding a Texas state law that bans the sale of horsemeat for human consumption. Successful.
March 2007 Texas Mar 05: Texas Rep. Sid Miller, a Quarter Horse breeder and the chairman of the Agriculture and Livestock committee, introduces State HB 2476 that would allow the slaughter of horses for human consumption in order to keep plants open in Texas. Placeholder bill; did not move forward.
March 2007 Federal District Court, District of Columbia Mar 29: US Federal District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, holds that the slaughter of horses in America violates federal law. Her ruling effectively blocks the US Department of Agriculture from providing horse meat inspections for a fee. Rules that USDA violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to conduct an environmental impact review of its decision to allow the continuation of horse slaughter. Technically, America’s three horse slaughterhouses can no longer kill horses for human consumption. See Animal Law Coalition article.
April 2007 Nevada Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign, the first veterinarian to be elected chair, parts ways with the AVMA by backing legislation that would ban horse slaughter for human consumption. Interesting but no significant impact.
April 2007 Illinois Apr 18: The Illinois House votes to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption, answering a two-year lobbying push by actress and animal-rights activist Bo Derek. Vote 74-41 in favor of measure designed to shut down Cavel International Inc. slaughterhouse in DeKalb. Legislation moves to Senate.
April 2007 110th Congress 1st Session Apr 25: The Senate Commerce Committee today approved the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S 311) Success. Roll Call vote 15 to 7 in favor of S 311.
April 2007 110th Congress 1st Session Apr 25: The House votes to prevent the government from selling off for slaughter any wild horses and burros that roam public lands in the West. The 277-137 vote restores a 1971 law preventing the Bureau of Land Management from selling the animals for commercial processing (slaughter).
April 2007 110th Congress 1st Session Apr 25: Bill S 311 that would ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in foreign countries to be considered before the full US Senate after being discharged from the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Vote 15-7 in favor of S 311.
April 2007 110th Congress 1st Session Apr 26: The US House of Representatives passes HR 249 to restore a decades-old ban on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses first enacted under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Vote 277-137 in favor of HR 249. Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Fails to reach Senate Floor for a vote. Legislation does not become law.
May 2007 110th Congress 1st Session May 05: The Dekalb Illinois slaughter plant forced to close in recent weeks wins the latest round in the long battle over the processing of horses, scoring a win in the Federal Appeals Court in Washington that will allow the plant to re-open. Successful: 2-1 to issue a stay on an order banning USDA inspections.
May 2007 Illinois May 08: Illinois Senate Committee votes 7-0 to pass bill HB 1711 banning horse slaughter for human consumption – now in Illinois Senate committee. Successful: 7-0 in favor of banning horse slaughter for human consumption.
May 2007 AVMA May 15: AVMA indicates an interest in working with AAEP in developing legislation addressing the welfare needs of the nation’s unwanted/retired horse population. This bill would be an alternative to the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which the AVMA, AAEP, and numerous other groups say would, if enacted, lead to crisis by prohibiting 100,000 to 115,000 unwanted horses from being humanely euthanized annually. Proposed legislation never introduced.
May 2007 Illinois May 16: Illinois Senate approves bill HB 1711 to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption sending legislation to the governor. Successful: 39-16 in favor.
May 2007 Texas May 20: The midnight deadline comes and goes with no action taken on Senate Bill 911 in the Texas Legislature to reopen the state’s two horse-slaughter plants. Both horse plants remain shuttered.
May 2007 Illinois May 24: Gov. Rod Blagojevich signs HB 1711 that bans slaughter of horses for human consumption. Successful. Means now illegal for the Cavel slaughterhouse in DeKalb to continue their carnage.
May 2007 Illinois May 25: Belgian-owned Cavel International Inc. files a lawsuit claiming new law banning the slaughter of horses intended for human consumption is unconstitutional. Unsuccessful.
June 2007 Illinois Jun 01: US District Court Judge Frederick Kapala grants temporary restraining order preventing state and DeKalb County officials from enforcing the slaughter ban while the suit is considered. Slaughter continues – Restraining order expires after Jun 14. Hearings in the case scheduled for Jun 12 and 14.
June 2007 Illinois Jun 17: Kapala grants a 10 day extension to Cavel while he considers whether to make the order permanent. Slaughter continues.
June 2007 Illinois Jun 28: Order keeping last US horse slaughter plant in DeKalb (Cavel) open to expire. Federal judge refuses a request from Cavel to stay open.
Juyl 2007 Illinois Jul 05: Illinois Law Banning Horse Slaughter Upheld in Federal Court Success. However,Cavel may still appeal on the grounds of the ban on horse slaughter for human consumption being unconstitutional.
July 2007 Illinois Jul 18: Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a motion by Cavel International, allowing the plant to temporarily resume horse slaughter operations. Facility allowed to operate while the appeal is pending.
September 2007 Illinois Sep 21: Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rules in support of a lower court’s earlier decision on the constitutionality of a state law banning the practice of horse slaughter for human consumption. Victory.  Cavel Appeal Denied. Temporary injunction revoked. Cavel is the last horse slaughter house in United States to close.
November 2007 Illinois Nov 02: Ill. State Rep. Robert S. Molaro (D-25th) introduces bill HB 4166 in response to a double-decker trailer accident in which 18 of 59 horses died due to accident related injuries. Successful. The measure amends Section 5 of Illinois’ Humane Care For Animals Act, adding: “No person may transport any equidae in any vehicle or trailer containing two or more levels of equidae, one on top of another.”
November 2007 USDA Nov 07: USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service considers a change to its regulations concerning the humane transport of horses being shipped to slaughter. The proposed rule change would extend the protections in place for equids heading to slaughter to those moving within the pipeline, including horses going to an assembly point, feedlot, or stockyard.
November 2007 110th Congress 1st Session Nov 14: S. 311 placed on Senate legislative Calendar No. 488 under General Orders. Hold placed on the Bill by at least three Senators on behalf of lobbyists. S 311 fails to reach Senate floor for a vote.
December 2007 110th Congress 1st Session 1st Session adjourns. Congress reconvenes in January to start the 2nd Session. Pending legislation carries forward.

Compiled by Vivian Grant Farrell

©The Horse Fund 2019 Logo in Orange.

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