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New Mexico district judge issues temporary injunction following King lawsuit

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The small New Mexico slaughterhouse that has been causing a national stir for a couple of years, because of its intention to butcher horses, is making another set of headlines today, Dec. 31. A New Mexico district judge has granted a temporary restraining order preventing Valley Meat’s planned Jan. 1 horse slaughtering start.

According to news from the Albuquerque Journal, Judge Matthew Wilson has scheduled a hearing on Jan. 3 at which Valley Meat must “show cause for why the temporary restraining order should not be extended or a preliminary injunction issued.”

This temporary restraining order against the planned horse slaughterhouse – the plant is a converted beef slaughterhouse that has been non-operational since early 2012 – comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by New Mexico State Attorney General Gary King.

King’s lawsuit was filed specifically against the opening of the horse slaughterhouse. It states, in part, that Valley Meat “has chronically failed to comply with state environmental and safety laws over the years.” The suit also seeks a permanent injunction to stop the horse slaughterhouse from becoming operational.

Blair Dunn, Valley Meat’s attorney, denies the allegations saying, “Their legal claim is not substantiated.”

In a way around the waste water permit, Dunn states Valley Meat is now seeking a 60-day permit that would allow the company to “pump and haul” wastewater to a facility approved by the Environment Department. This permit could be approved in the first week of January, according to Dunn.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Rick De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meat, awaits the judge’s decisions. He says,

We’re definitely moving forward getting ready to open.

Los Santos has a dozen or so former employees ready to work.

While this new development in the domestic horse slaughter saga continues, the operative word surrounding this latest injunction is once again “temporary.”

Read more in Albuquerque Journal

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