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Horse slaughter plants preparing to open

Valley Meat Co.  (AP Photo - Jeri Clausing) Valley Meat Co. (AP Photo - Jeri Clausing)

By JERI CLAUSING, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - After months of legal wrangling and false starts in a battle to resume domestic horse slaughter, plants in New Mexico and Missouri are working to begin processing equine for human consumption.

The efforts come on the heels of an order late Friday by a federal appeals court that lifted an emergency stay on the companies' plans.

Blair Dunn, an Albuquerque who represents Valley Meat Co. of Roswell and Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., says the plants Monday "are pushing full steam ahead to be ready to go as soon as possible."

Rains Natural Meats, he says, even has horses on site. But it's unclear if the plants will open before Christmas or wait until after the holidays.

The Humane Society vows "the fight for America's horses is not over."

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