Judge to decide if N.M. horse slaughter plant opens

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A judge in Santa Fe is expected to decide Monday whether a Roswell company can start slaughtering horses.

State District Judge Matthew Wilson is hearing a request from Attorney General Gary King to issue a preliminary injunction against Valley Meat Co.

King has filed suit against the company, alleging its operations would violate state environmental and food safety laws.

The plant was blocked from opening last year after animal protection groups filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture for issuing permits to Valley and two other companies that would become the first domestic plants to slaughter horses in seven years. A federal judge in Albuquerque threw out that lawsuit. And after a federal appeals court declined to keep the plants shuttered, King filed the state suit.

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