The lawyer for a New Mexico meat company says the business could begin slaughtering horses as early as next week should it prevail today in a judicial hearing in Santa Fe.
Attorney Blair Dunn is asking state District Judge Matthew Wilson to immediately lift his temporary restraining order preventing Valley Meat Co. from opening its plant near the city of Roswell, N.M. Wilson issued the injunction on Dec. 30 until he could hold a hearing in the lawsuit filed by New Mexico Attorney General Gary King alleging that the company's operations would violate state food-safety and water-quality laws.
Dunn said he plans to put state environment department officials on the stand to rebut King's arguments, which he said have no merit and have already been shot down in previous court proceedings.
Valley Meat and companies in Missouri and Iowa last year won federal permits to become the first horse slaughterhouses to operate in the United States since Congress cut off funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections at such facilities in 2006. Lawmakers reinstated the funding in 2011.
Reprinted in part from Agri-Pulse