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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - The owner of a Missouri company seeking to open a horse-slaughter facility says he's been working with federal food safety officials to modify equipment at a processing site so the facility can humanely handle horses.

David Rains, of Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, told The Springfield News-Leader he's been working with an equine consultant and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prepare the plant for horse slaughter. He says it's unclear how many horses the plant will handle if it's approved.

Animal protection groups have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the revival of domestic horse slaughter at commercial processing plants. The Humane Society's lawsuit names the Rains facility and other prospective plants in Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

The USDA didn't immediately return a call Monday seeking comment.

 

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