“We basically don’t think the court has jurisdiction over the case anymore,” said Bruce Wagman, who represents appellants in the case.
Wagman, a San Francisco-based lawyer with Schiff Hardin LLP, cited the absence of an “active controversy” because there is “no possibility of horse slaughter.” Courts have no authority to hear a case that meets the legal definition of mootness.
“We are going to file something in the next couple of weeks,” Wagman said.
Although he didn’t provide specifics, it’s plausible the appellants will seek to dismiss the lawsuit because the alleged harm—the slaughtering of horses in the United States—is theoretical. USDA is prohibited from inspecting facilities for horse slaughter throughout the remainder of the government’s fiscal year 2014 ending Sept. 30.
Facilities in New Mexico and Missouri had been seeking to slaughter horses for human consumption, although they faced state administrative and legal hurdles as well.
Holly Gann, horse slaughter campaign manager for The Humane Society of the United States, said her organization is calling on Congress to enact a permanent ban on the practice. Such legislation (Safeguard American Food Exports Act) was introduced last year in the House and Senate.
The bills also would end the practice of exporting American horses for slaughter outside the United States, Gann noted. She said more than 160,000 horses were sent to Canada and Mexico in 2012 to be slaughtered.
A. Blair Dunn, a lawyer representing two facilities that have been seeking the green light to slaughter horses—Valley Meat Co. in New Mexico and Rains Natural Meats in Missouri—has said the companies would look into filing a lawsuit that the funding ban violates provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, The Associated Press reported earlier this month.
Wagman characterized such a proposal as a “crazy idea”.
IN THE HANDS OF KILL BUYERS! When horses are purchased at auction by buyers intending to kill them, they're hauled away in double- decker tractor trailers where they are beaten and often blinded with baseball bats to mollify them. After crossing the border into Mexico, the animals are stabbed on each side-an act to tenderize their meat-and immobilized. Workers, then saw the horses legs off, at the knee and hang them to bleed out-all while the horses are ALIVE! (This is an excerpt, from an article written by Missy Diaz, crediting Victoria Mc Cullough and Sen. Joe Abruzzo for bringing awareness of horse slaughter, to Florida. In 2010 Florida Legislation unanimously passed the Horse Protection Bill, making it a felony to slaughter horses for personal or commercial use.)