Animal rights groups sue USDA over horse slaughter permits

Animal protection groups are suing for an injunction to overturn USDA’s permit approval of a horse meat plant in Roswell, NM. Valley Meat Co. received permission on Tuesday to convert a former beef processing facility into one for slaughtering horses. It would be the first horse meat processing facility approved by USDA since 2007, when funding for inspectors was cut.

Funding was restored in 2011, but Congress could cut it again, effectively reinstating the ban. According to AP, both House and Senate agricultural committees have endorsed such a plan.  The lawsuit was filed by Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue of Larkspur, Colo., three other groups and five individuals in US District Court in San Francisco.