Kaufman Residents Disappointed in USDA Decision...
excerpt from the THE WASHINGTON TIMES (click link to read entire article) By Hugh Aynesworth
"...On Jan. 17, a group of 40 senators and representatives sent a blistering letter to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, accusing the USDA of 'direct defiance of congressional intent.'
The signers asked that the USDA delay its planned new operating system, and that the agency explain its 'course of directly violating congressional intent.'
Meanwhile, here in tiny Kaufman, about 40 miles southeast of Dallas, the battle is being fought on more visceral, personal grounds.
Dallas Crown Inc., one of three equine slaughterhouses still operating in the U.S., slaughters several hundred horses every week, then packages the meat and ships it to France, Belgium, Japan and a few other countries where horse meat is considered a delicacy.
At present, Kaufman's Zoning Board of Adjustment is considering a shut down of Dallas Crown.
At public hearings last fall, citizens told of relentless odors, bones from slain horses carried around the neighborhood by dogs, blood and feces running through drainage areas and from trucks and the unsettling 'noise' from horses as they were slaughtered throughout the night.
In 2002, when it was learned that the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner, Ferdinand, had ended up in a slaughterhouse in Japan, horse-slaughter foes in the U.S. became more fervent and the Belgian-owned operators of the U.S. plants began hiring lawyers and lobbyists.
'After Congress voted so strongly, we thought it would be over -- we could breathe again,' said Robert Eldridge, who lives and works within a block of the Crown complex. 'I wish some of them could visit here and see just how horrible it is...'"