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PLease thank Delta and American airlines andencourage a permanent NO to shipping horsemeat.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><br><br>
Airlines say 'no' to horsemeat<br><br>
04:54 PM CST on Thursday, January 25, 2007<br><br>
By JIM GETZ / The Dallas Morning News <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br><br><br>
A federal court decision that upheld a Texas ban on horsemeat for human dining has thrown the horse-slaughter industry into flux this week, with two airlines saying they wont transport the meat even as the state's two slaughter plants say operations are business as usual.<br><br>
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines said today that Thursday, jan. 25 they have suspended transport of horsemeat from Texas airports to the overseas markets -- mainly France, Belgium and Japan -- where it is consumed.<br><br>
Were not confident that it is legal to ship horsemeat out of the state of Texas, so were not accepting shipment, American spokesman Tim Wagner said. Were taking the cautious approach.<br><br>
Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said that, for now, the airline has suspended shipment of this cargo, based on the recent ruling about Texas.<br><br>
Asked if the plants would try to persuade the airlines to change their minds or would try to arrange shipment with other airlines, industry lobbyist Charles Stenholm said, "It is my belief that the airlines will soon reach a comfort level."<br><br>
Meanwhile, David Broiles, an attorney for the two horsemeat plants -- Beltex in Fort Worth and Dallas Crown in Kaufman -- said he would ask the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans to rehear the ruling handed down Friday by a three-judge panel from that court.<br><br>
If his request fails, he said, he will petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.<br><br>
Ann Diamond, an assistant district attorney in Tarrant County who successfully argued her case before the Circuit Court, said she and Kaufman County District Attorney Rick Harrison would hold off on trying to shut down the plants under the 1949 law until all appeals are resolved.<br><br>
Mr. Stenholm, a former West Texas congressman, said the airlines were influenced by anti-slaughter groups such as the Humane Society of the United States.<br><br>
A lot of the folks on the other side have managed to stir up a lot of questions, he said. Certainly, American Airlines did not want to do anything that was illegal. They were being told, by calls flooding into their office, that it was illegal to ship. Thats inaccurate information.<br><br>
Mr. Wagner said American did not base its decision on outside phone calls. We have to make our decision based on our understanding of the court case, he said, not someone elses interpretation.<br><br>
Mr. Stenholm said that the appeals court decision created uncertainty in every business from horse auctions to the airlines but that he believes Mr. Broiles decision to fight to the Supreme Court, if need be, would stabilize the horse industry.<br><br>
Its just a matter of hours before things are back to normal, he said Weve had a little disruption, but its back to business as usual.<br><br>
Industry spokesman David Sheon agreed, saying there was a lot of fluidity in events this week.<br><br>
What you report one minute could change the next, he said. But the plants are operational There may be an hour here or there where they have to figure things out. I think it would be more fair to describe that as a hiccup, not a major disruption.<br><br>
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, praised the airlines decision, saying the three-judge panels decision is the final word as far as his organization is concerned.<br><br>
The courts decision was unambiguous, and the judges stated that horse slaughter is illegal in Texas for human consumption, he said. The airlines have an obligation to follow the dictates of a U.S. court of appeals. This shouldnt even be a close call.<br><br>
Asked if he was disappointed that Mr. Broiles continuing appeals would prevent Ms. Diamond from prosecuting the plants, Mr. Pacelle replied, The onus is not on her -- its on the airlines and the slaughter plants to act responsibly and cease until the ruling is overturned by the full circuit or the Supreme Court.<br><br>
Beltex employs about 90 people, and its annual sales are $35 million, according to its most recent report. Dallas Crown employs about 40 workers and has annual sales of about $8.8 million. Both are foreign-owned. The only other U.S. horse-slaughter plant, Cavel International of DeKalb, Ill., is not affected because the ruling concerned Texas law

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I do not see why I should thank them. If they were sure that it was not illegal to export horse meat, they would. Did I understand that right?
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