Brief in Colorado clarification
March 27, 2014
I have had many requests to clarify what we (the United Horsemen) are raising money for and the importance of this Brief in Colorado. So I hope this will answer many of you and let you know that this is of extreme importance to not only the Horse Industry but all animal agriculture.
Remember the ongoing legal battle to protect new American meat processing facilities from a Humane Society-backed lawsuit that would impose unreasonable environmental regulations aimed at preventing them from opening their doors?
There is an important new development in that case, which is extremely critical for not only the horse industry, but all animal agriculture.
United Horsemen is fortunate to have a legal heavy hitter working on our behalf: Karen Budd-Falen, of the Cheyenne, Wyo., based Budd-Falen law firm. Karen's firm routinely represents ranchers, cattlemen's organizations and other agricultural interests throughout the Western states. She is looking out for all the non-government agriculture parties in this lawsuit that seeks to force the domestic meat processing industry to a standstill by bogging it down in ridiculous amounts of environmental paperwork.
Karen already helped hand our opponents a major defeat in the New Mexico District Court, but true to form, HSUS is not giving up. They filed an appeal in the 10th Circuit Court in Colorado where Karen is currently handling the response briefing on our behalf.
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If HSUS wins this appeal, any new livestock processing facility would be subject to the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The expense and prolonged inspection schedule required to meet NEPA standards would be insurmountable. No American meat processing facility has ever been required to meet NEPA standards. This is a new effort by HSUS to deal a crippling blow to animal agriculture.
United Horsemen has been working with other similar animal agriculture groups to raise the money for this but we are still way below the threshold we need to get to.
The most important tenet of the current appeal that was brought by HSUS after they lost in district court is that USDA /FSIS can not utilize a categorical exclusion from NEPA when issuing a new grant of inspection to a livestock processing facility.
HSUS will seek to apply this to all new livestock processing facilities subjecting the livestock processing industry to NEPA at basically every turn. In this instance it is horses but as horses are an amenable species under Federal Meat Inspection Act it translates to all industries. Karen and her firm did a very good job briefing this at the district court level and our hard fought victory there is a very good one for agriculture. The contribution we are seeking is to be able to have her firm re-work that brief that they did for all of us to fit the current appeal.
The Brief has to be filed by Tuesday the 25th of March. So 5 days from now. So this is definitely a HIGH PRIORITY.
President United Horsemen