The USDA has now approved for horse slaughtering at two plants, but lawsuits filed by several animal rights groups seek to block those operations from happening. The USDA this week approved Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., and Responsible Transportation of Sigourney, Iowa, to begin the slaughter of horses for meat.

The New York Times reports that the animal rights groups involved in the lawsuit — the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, Marin Humane Society, the Horses for Life Foundation and Return to Freedom, along with five individual plaintiffs — contend that the Agriculture Department did not perform reviews required by the National Environmental Protection Act before authorizing Valley Meat to operate.

“The USDA has failed to consider the basic fact that horses are not raised as a food animal,” Hilary Wood, president of Front Range Equine Rescue, said in a statement. “Horse owners provide their horses with a number of substances dangerous to human health. To blatantly ignore this fact jeopardizes human health as well as the environment surrounding a horse slaughter plant.”

Source: New York Times