published Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Judge blocks planned horse slaughter at 2 plants



This April 15, 2013 file photo shows Valley Meat Co., which has been sitting idle for more than a year, waiting for the Department of Agriculture to approve its plans to slaughter horses.
This April 15, 2013 file photo shows Valley Meat Co., which has been sitting idle for more than a year, waiting for the Department of Agriculture to approve its plans to slaughter horses.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal judge has temporarily halted plans by companies in New Mexico and Iowa to start slaughtering horses next week.

U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo on Friday issued a restraining order in a lawsuit brought by The Humane Society of the United States and other groups. They contend the Department of Agriculture failed to do the proper environmental studies before issuing permits that would allow the first horse slaughters in the U.S. since 2006.

Two slaughterhouses — one in Roswell, N.M., and another in Sigourney, Iowa — were set to open on Monday. But the Albuquerque-based judge on Friday issued the restraining order and scheduled another hearing for next week.

Meat from the slaughterhouses would be exported for human consumption and for use as zoo and other animal food.

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