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Nov 1, 2013 3:02 PM by David Randall

Ban on horse slaughter expires

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An order barring a return to domestic horse slaughter 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 by animal protection groups trying to block the plants expired Thursday night without a ruling from a federal judge in Albuquerque.

Attorneys for the Humane Society of the United States and other groups suing the Department of Agriculture over its permitting procedures Friday filed a motion seeking an extension of the restraining order. Dunn says he will fight that.

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.

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