An Iowa company is dropping plans to slaughter horses after a federal judge temporarily banned the practice as part of a lawsuit filed by animal welfare groups.
Responsible Transportation, which owns a slaughterhouse in Sigourney, was one of two companies that had secured federal permits for horse slaughtering. But its president, Keaton Walker, said it could not afford to wait for more court deliberations and was turning its focus to cattle.
The other company with a permit, the Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., was “still prepared to stay the course,” said a company lawyer, Blair Dunn. Valley Meat has been at the fore of the fight, pushing for more than a year for permission to convert its cattle plant into a horse slaughterhouse. The suit was filed by the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, Horses For Life Foundation and other groups against the United States Department of Agriculture.