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Judge orders bond in NM slaughterhouse case 


Watchdog.com / By Rob Nikolewski  /   August 8, 2013  

images1ALBUQUERQUE – The long-running arguments over opening the first horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. in seven years took another turn Thursday.

A U.S. magistrate judge ordered theHumane Society of the United Statesand other animal rights advocates to post, for one month, a bond of $435,600 to two companies prepared to open horsemeat packing facilities.

“We’re happy with what the judge ruled,” Blair Dunn, the attorney for Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., told New Mexico Watchdog. “My clients are suffering economic damage.”

The bond will cover expenses and lost profits for owners of the Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation of Sigourney, Iowa, should the companies eventually win in court.

On Aug. 2, a U.S. District Court judge granted a temporary restraining order that blocked the two facilities from opening this week. The judge agreed with attorneys for the Humane Society, Front Range Equine Rescue and other plaintiffs that the horse processing facilities could pose an environmental risk.

In response, the respective lawyers called for $10 million in bonds for a period of six months. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Hayes Scott ruled Thursday the one-month, $435,600 bond was appropriate, considering that within 30 days U.S. District Court Judge M. Christina Armijo will preside over another hearing on whether to grant the Humane Society and other opponents a preliminary injunction.

“The bond requires the plaintiffs to put their money where their mouth is,” Pat Rogers, attorney for Responsible Transportation, told the Associated Press. “There are real-life consequences to these actions and we’re appreciative of the judge recognizing that.”

The horse slaughterhouses have divided conservationists, politicians of both major parties and American Indian tribes in New Mexico. Supporters and critics beyond the state’s borders are watching closely. Continued… Read more at Watchdog.com