ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - 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.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Attorneys trying to block plans by two companies to restore domestic horse slaughter say federal officials failed to consider the environmental hazards involved.
Bruce Wagman, a lawyer for a group opposing horse slaughter, told a federal judge in Albuquerque on Friday that horses are given more than 100 drugs not approved for other feed animals.
But lawyers for the federal government say there's no evidence that hazardous materials enter the environment.
The Humane Society of the United States and others are requesting a restraining order to block companies in New Mexico and Iowa from opening their slaughterhouses as planned Monday.
The businesses would be the first to legally slaughter horses in the country since Congress effectively banned the practice in 2006.
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