Judge orders meat co. to halt for now

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By Associated Press

SANTA FE (AP) — A Roswell company that has been fighting for two years to restart the slaughter of horses in the U.S. was dealt another setback Friday when a Santa Fe judge extended a temporary ban on its operations.
State District Judge Matthew Wilson put Valley Meat Co.’s planned opening on hold for 10 more days so he can hear testimony Jan. 13 in a lawsuit brought by New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, who is one of several parties trying to block the company in federal and state courts.
King filed the state lawsuit last month after a federal appeals court lifted its order barring the company from opening, saying The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups had failed to show a likelihood of prevailing in their appeal of a lawsuit that was thrown out last year by a federal judge in Albuquerque.
Valley Meat owner Rick De Los Santos, who had been preparing to open after the first of the year, seemed unfazed by the latest delay.
“We’ve been going through this for two years now,” he said outside the courthouse. “We’ll see what happens in 10 days.”
King’s lawsuit alleges the company would violate the state’s food safety, water quality and unfair business practices laws.

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