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BREAKING NEWS: Missouri horse slaughter plant denied permit to open

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The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today turned down a permit request from a Missouri slaughterhouse that had applied to begin slaughtering horses.

Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, MO had applied to the U.S. Department of Natural Resources for the necessary permit to operate a wastewater lagoon for horse slaughter operations.

In a letter Thursday to David Rains, owner of Rains Natural Meats, the agency said it had denied Rains' permit request because of the lack of funding for required federal inspections of the slaughtering process in the new federal budget.

The lack of funding in the federal budget effectively halted the opening of horse slaughterhouses in New Mexico, Iowa and Missouri, where three companies wanted to begin operations. Since 2007, no horse slaughter plants have operated, and after Congress restored funding for inspections in 2011, the companies that wanted to resume the slaughter trade have faced stiff public oppositions from animal advocates, environmentalists, and the general public.

In polls, over 80% of the public, including such well-known faces as actor Robert Redford and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, oppose the return of horse slaughter.

Matt Bershadker, head of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the next move by Congress should be to pass the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, which would end export of American horses for slaughter in other countries."Horse slaughter in inhumane, whether here or abroad, and a lasting end to this reckless practice is the only just solution," Bershadker said.