A federal appeals court has temporarily halted plans to resume domestic horse slaughter.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has issued a temporary injunction barring the Department of Agriculture from inspecting the plants.
Slaughterhouses in Missouri and New Mexico had hoped to start up as soon as this week after a federal judge in Albuquerque on Friday threw out a lawsuit by The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups. The lawsuit alleged the Agriculture Department failed to conduct proper environmental studies when it issued permits to the slaughterhouses.
The groups filed an immediate appeal and won the emergency injunction.
The order continues the on-again, off-again plans to resume domestic horse slaughter six years after the last big slaughterhouses closed after Congress cut funding for inspectors.