• According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100,800 American horses were slaughtered in three foreign-owned slaughter houses in 2006. Another 30,000 were sent to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.
• USDA statistics show more than 92 percent of horses slaughtered in the U.S. are in good shape, not old and infirm as opponents claim.
• Legislation to ban the slaughter of American horses nationwide was introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Reps. Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), John Spratt (D-S.C.) and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduced a companion bill, H.R. 503.
The measure received bipartisan support in the 109th Congress, winning a vote of 263 to 146 in the House. In late 2006, it stalled in the Senate, where it had been approved overwhelmingly the year before, and was not brought up for a vote before Congress adjourned.
• Nearly 70 percent of Americans are strongly against the slaughter of American horses for human consumption overseas.
• The criminal code of Texas has prohibited the sale or possession of horse meat since 1949, but the law was never enforced.
• In 2002, responding to citizen and local government concerns about the two foreign-owned horse slaughter plants in the state � Dallas Crown in Kaufman and Beltex in Fort Worth � then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn issued a written opinion that the 1949 Texas law applies and may be enforced.
• In response, the Tarrant County District Attorney attempted to enforce the law, but last year a federal district court in Texas ruled that the law was repealed by another statute and preempted by federal law.
• The District Attorney appealed that decision last year, and the HSUS filed an amicus brief in the case in March 2006.
• In January 2007, a federal court of appeals upheld a Texas state law declaring horse slaughter illegal in that state. Appeals from the slaughterhouses were rejected in March.