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New Mexico meat plant readies to slaughter horses

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A lawyer for a New Mexico meat plant says it is only three weeks from becoming the first in the United States since 2007 to slaughter horses.

"We're getting ready to go," A. Blair Dunn, attorney for Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, New Mexico, told Bloomberg News Friday. The plant may eventually process as many as 100 horses a day for export, he said.

The company is one of several that have applied to the Department of Agriculture to slaughter horses, a practice that ended in 2007 after Congress defunded government inspections at the facilities, Bloomberg reports.

Senators Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, and Lindsay Graham, Republican of South Carolina, along with Representatives Patrick Meehan, Republican of Pennsylvania, and Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, sponsored legislation this week that would ban horse meat processing in the U.S. and prohibit transporting horses outside the country for slaughter, Bloomberg reports.

The USDA this month said it encouraged lawmakers to reinstate the ban on funding inspections.

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