ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A temporary order barring a return to domestic horse slaughtering has expired. And an attorney for plants in New Mexico and Missouri says they are preparing to open.
Blair Dunn, who represents Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., and Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., says a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit from animal protection groups trying to block the plants from opening expired Thursday night without a ruling from a federal judge in Albuquerque.
Dunn says the groups suing the Department of Agriculture over its permitting procedures are expected to seek an extension of the restraining order, but that he will fight it.
Dunn says the Missouri plant could be up and running on Monday. The Roswell plant is also preparing to open. An Iowa plant that had also planned to slaughter horses has converted to beef because of the litigation.