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Mar 1, 2013 3:22 PM by JD Downing

Feds may allow horse slaughter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The attorney for the southeastern New Mexico meat company that wants to resume domestic horse slaughter says federal officials have indicated they might grant the inspection needed to start processing horse meat.

Attorney A. Blair Dunn says the Department of Justice told him this week that agriculture officials hope to grant the inspection in the next 45 to 60 days.

Valley Meat Co., of Roswell, last year sued the Department of Agriculture to resume the inspections necessary to open what would be the nation's first new horse slaughterhouse in more than five years. The suit alleges that USDA inaction on its application was driven by emotional political debates and has cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars.

USDA officials did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

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