By ASSOCIATED PRESS
A federal judge on Friday temporarily halted plans by companies in New Mexico and Iowa to start slaughtering horses next week.
U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo issued a restraining order in a lawsuit brought by The Humane Society of the United States and other groups in a case that has sparked an emotional national debate about how best to deal with the tens of thousands of wild, unwanted and abandoned horses across the country.
The move stops what would have been the resumption of horse slaughter for the first time in seven years in the U.S.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Bruce Wagman, said his clients were overjoyed with the ruling and had been “extremely distressed that horse slaughter was going to start up again in America.”
Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, New Mexico, has been at the fore of the fight, pushing for more than a year for permission to convert its cattle plant into a horse slaughterhouse.
Pat Rogers, an attorney for Responsible Transportation, said his clients borrowed $1.5 million to begin the operation, with another $1.4 million from investors.
Wayne Pacelle states:
We’ve won a temporary but life-saving reprieve for horses in federal court late this afternoon, and it’s good news indeed that the kill boxes in New Mexico and Iowa will be empty of horses in the weeks ahead. We’ll continue to make arguments when the case resumes in a month that these plants cannot legally operate because of inadequate environmental review.