Federal officials have granted a permit brought by Valley Meat Company of Roswell, New Mexico to resume horse slaughter, marking the first time the practice has been permitted in seven years.
Further, officials plan to grant similar permits in Iowa and Missouri, according to a report by the Associated Press.
It remains unclear when the plant will restart operations, since USDA inspectors must visit the slaughterhouse first, but the announcement removes the last legal hurdle Valley Meat faced after months of fighting for a permit.
The USDA is currently fighting for an outright ban on horse slaughter; previously, legislators had removed funding for federal inspections of horse slaughterhouses, which had effectively halted the practice until the legislation expired. The Obama administration's budget proposal for the coming fiscal year also eliminates funding for inspection.
““The Administration has requested Congress to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter. Until Congress acts, the Department must continue to comply with current law,” said USDA spokeswoman Courtney Rowe.
Read more at the Springfield News-Leader
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