Attorneys spoke before a federal magistrate again on behalf of two companies embroiled in the horse slaughter issue in the states of Iowa and New Mexico. The companies had planned to begin butchering horses this week.
The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and several other animal rights groups won a temporary injunction on domestic horse slaughter and were required to post a nearly-$500,000 bond during the ensueing legal duration.
According to the two attorneys, the opening delay of the horse slaughterhouses would cost over $1.5 million in lost revenue for just one month. Considering the likelihood that the legal wrangling could drag on for months, the final losses could readily amount to losses of over tens of millions of dollars.
The bond covers the companies' costs and lost profits for the next 30 days should the animal rights groups lose the case. Within that time, another hearing is planned in federal court to determine the fate of the temporary ban.
In a counterargument by the animal welfare groups, their attorneys surmise that possible losses estimated by the slaughterhouses were “highly speculative and the result of creative accounting.”
Slaughterhouse attorneys contest this. Based on figures given by Blair Dunn for Valley Meat, the plant intends to slaughter 120 horses each day, netting $350 each. Dunn says, “The losses will be significant.”
Animal groups claim that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has failed to do proper environmental studies, rushing into issuing the permits.
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