Dallas Morning News, Friday, Sept. 27, 2002


Lawsuit seeks end to horse slaughter inquiry

A lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court to halt prosecutors in Tarrant and Kaufman counties from investigating whether horse-slaughtering operations there violate state laws prohibiting horse meat sales and consumption. Prosecutors said they are investigating whether state laws that prevent horse meat consumption in Texas also prevent the companies from exporting the horse meat to France, Germany and other European countries. Dallas Crown in Kaufman County and Fort Worth-based Beltex Corp. are the only companies in the United States that slaughter horses. The suit, also filed on behalf of a Mexican shipping company that distributes the meat, says the state does not have jurisdiction over interstate trade matters and seeks an injunction to halt the inquiries. The Tarrant County district attorney's office released a statement saying it would "vigorously" fight the suit.