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The resumption of commercial horse slaughter in the United States was blocked on Friday, January 17, when President Obama signed a congressional budget bill that removed funding for USDA inspection of horse slaughter plants. This action on the part of Congress and the President effectively takes horse slaughter in this country off the table for now. A similar federal budget measure passed in 2006 shuttered the industry in 2007. Money for federal inspections of horse meat was…
In an order dated December 13, 2013, a copy of which can be downloaded here, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denied an emergency motion for injunction pending appeal filed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal rights groups. The motion sought to halt horse slaughter operations at three U.S. plants pending the final resolution of the animal rights groups’ appeal. The HSUS and other animal…
As discussed in this prior post, the Humane Society of the United States and a variety of other groups and individuals brought suit to permanently enjoin the slaughter of horses at two plants that had been granted Food Safety Inspection Service permits.  On November 1, 2013, after originally granting a temporary injunction staying operations at the plants, U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo denied the plaintiffs’ request for permanent injunction and dismissed the lawsuit with…
The United States District Court of the Western District of Texas (Austin Division) recently held that Churchill Downs subsidiary website, Twinspires.com, is prohibited from accepting wagers from persons living in Texas. Churchill Downs brought action against the Texas Racing Commission seeking a declaration that the Texas Racing Act’s in-person requirement, under which only a person inside the enclosure where a race meeting was authorized may wager on a race, violated the dormant Commerce Clause. The dormant…
On August 12, 2013, an evidentiary hearing was held on Plaintiffs’ request for attorneys’ fees and for injunctive relief that would require the AQHA to register clones and their offspring.  Following the hearing, U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson informed counsel that she would grant an injunction requiring the AQHA to register horses produced by cloning and their offspring. On August 14, 2013, the court entered an order (which can be accessed here) setting…
On August 2, 2013, judge Christina Armijo of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico in Albuquerque granted a 30-day temporary restraining order preventing the commencement of horse slaughter at two plants—Valley Meat Co. LLC in Roswell, New Mexico and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa. Earlier this summer, both of those plants had received Food Safety Inspection Services (FSIS) permits, which allow placement of USDA personnel at processing plants to carry…
Today, a 10-person jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division ruled that AQHA Rule REG106.1, which prohibits the registration of cloned horses and their offspring in AQHA’s breed registry, violates federal and state anti-trust laws. The jury awarded no damages. In a statement published today on AQHA’s website, AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway, Jr. said, When individuals with shared interests, goals and values come together to form…
On July 18, 2013, the Austin Court of Appeals issued a memorandum opinion affirming in part a trial court judgment which held that a stable employees’ smoking while working in the barn was a material breach of the boarding agreement, allowing several boarders to move out without notice. After a boarder saw and photographed a stable employee smoking while working in the barn, several boarders removed their horses from the stable. They did not give 30…
The latest case featuring ClassicStar and GeoStar’s mare-leasing scheme featured the defendants leasing out mares they didn’t own and leasing less-valuable quarter horses and misrepresenting them to be Thoroughbred mares. On July 18, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a $65 million award to victims of the scheme. In re ClassicStar Mare Lease Litig., — F.3d —, 2013 WL 3476220 (6thCir. July 18, 2013). Guest blogger B. Paul Husband wrote about ClassicStar’s litigation with the IRS
Today, the Supreme Court of Texas denied review in Hilz v. Riedel, a Fort Worth Court of Appeals decision reversing a summary judgment granted pursuant to Chapter 87 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code.  As such, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals’ opinion will stand and the case will proceed to trial on remand to the trial court. A detailed discussion of the Fort Worth Court of Appeals’ opinion is contained in this prior post.…