Horse Slaughter Legislative Timeline 2014

State and Federal Legislation
113th U.S. Congress (2013—2014)

DATE VENUE ACTIVITY RESULT
January 6, 2014 New Mexico State Risk Management Division Attorney for Valley Meat Co. sends letters giving required 30-day notice of its planned legal filing to sue the State Attorney General, Gary King, for slander over efforts to block the plant from opening to slaughter horses. Legal filing to sue expected in 30-days.
January 17, 2014 US Congress: Appropriations Language in the FY 2014 omnibus spending bill heading for President Obama’s desk re-establishes law that existed from 2006 to 2011 prohibiting USDA from spending any money to inspect horse-slaughter facilities.

On Thursday, the Senate joined the House in approving the $1.1-trillion spending bill that the halts any resumption of horse slaughter in the United States.

The bipartisan agreement cleared the Senate on a 72-26 vote after gaining House approval a day earlier by a vote of 359-67.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced an amendment to remove the prohibition on equine inspections, but he was unsuccessful. The Oklahoma senator said he will pursue a stand-alone bill to get around the new ban.

Pending expected signature of the President.
January 21, 2014 New Mexico Despite re-introduction of ban on federal inspections for horse slaughter, Valley Meat Co. will continue to wage a legal fight to convert its cattle processing plant to the slaughtering of horses. Valley Meat is also trying to disqualify Judge Matthew Wilson, the New Mexico district Judge presiding over the State Ccourt suit, because of comments posted by horse slaughter opponents on a Facebook page for the Judge’s election campaign. Valley Meat’s lawyer claims federal move to withhold money for meat inspections could cause U.S. trade violations.
May 22, 2014 US Senate: Appropriations Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill (S.2389). Provides funding for the USDA for the 2015 fiscal year (October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015). Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) offered an amendment to the FY2015 U.S. Agriculture Appropriations bill prohibiting the USDA from funding inspections at horse slaughter facilities. Passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 18-12. Similar action expected in US House of Representatives. Committee will send FY2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill to the full Senate for approval.
December 2, 2014 New Mexico US District Court Office of Attorney General Gary King filed pleadings seeking to enforce and modify an Injunction entered in the 2013 lawsuit against the Valley Meat Co., which had proposed a horse slaughter operation near Roswell. Valley Meat, was simultaneously creating a new shell company, through which they applied for the very same permits to conduct commercial horse slaughter that they had withdrawn only a few weeks earlier. Valley Meat ended its fight to open a horse slaughter facility in August 2014. Motion asks that any successor company, be bound by the same terms in the preliminary injunction as Valley Meat and that it be barred it from pursuing permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the New Mexico Environment Department.

Contributors: Jane Allin, Vivian Farrell

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