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Iowa company drops plans to slaughter horses

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A company in Iowa has dropped plans to begin slaughtering horses. The day after a federal judge made the call to temporarily ban the slaughter of horses, an Iowa company decided to turn its focus to beef, according to a report by ABC News.

Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa had obtained federal permits to allow horse slaughter. Their plans were put on hold when a federal judge temporarily banned horse slaughtering as part of a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society and other animal welfare groups.

The lawsuit ignited an emotional debate about how to deal with wild, unwanted, and abandoned horses around the country.

“We just can’t sit with our heads down,” said Keaton Walker, the company’s president. “We have to get back to work. Our main focus now is going to be beef.”

Walker said the company decided to reapply for a permit as a beef-only operation the day after horse slaughtering was temporarily banned, according to the report.

ABC News also reported that the other company that had horse slaughter permits, Valley Meat Co. in New Mexico is still going to try and turn its cattle plant into a horse slaughterhouse.

“We are going to see this deal all the way through,” said company owner, Rick De Los Santos.

Domestic horse slaughter supporters have noted that having a federally regulated horse slaughterhouse in the U.S. would be better than having the animals starve or shipped to inhumane facilities in other countries, said ABC News.

The slaughtering of horses was originally banned in the U.S. in 2006.