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Horse slaughtering plant draws interest from Indian Country

A controversial horse slaughtering plant in southern New Mexico has drawn the interest of tribes and individual Indians across the country.

The National Congress of American Indians, the Navajo Nation, the Mescalero Apache Nation of New Mexico, the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and the Yakama Nation of Washington want the Department of Agriculture to inspect horse slaughtering plants. Tribes say such facilities can help reduce the number of wild horses on their reservations.

But the idea has drawn opposition from tribal members. Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Pipe, Chief David Bald Eagle of the Minikoju Band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Roxanne Talltree-Douglas, a Blackfeet Nation horsewoman, and other individual Indians don't think the Valley Meat Co. should slaughter horses for human consumption.

Judge Christina Armijo will be sorting through the competing arguments at a hearing today. Animal rights groups, the state of New Mexico and other interests are asking her to block the USDA permit that was issued to Valley Meat.

A ruling could come later today.

Get the Story:
Federal judge expected to rule on request to block start of horse slaughter (AP 8/2)
Two Navajo legislators support NM horse slaughter facility, one takes shots at Susana and Richardson (New Mexico Watchdog 8/2)
N.M. at center of controversy (The Albuquerque Journal 8/2)
Slaughterhouse opening delayed (The Albuquerque Journal 8/31)

Related Stories:
NCAI, Navajo Nation back controversial horse slaughter plant (8/1)
USDA sued over permits issued to horse slaughtering plants (7/23)
Horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico blasts USDA for delay (06/06)
Column: Tribes support New Mexico horse slaughtering plant (05/14)
USDA set to approve horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico (05/01)
USDA inspects potential New Mexico horse slaughtering plant (4/23)
Oglala Sioux Tribe explores opening of horse slaughtering plant (4/18)
Mescalero Apache Tribe backs permits for horse slaughters (04/03)
Yakama Nation calls on USDA to approve horse slaughtering (4/2)
USDA might approve first horse slaughtering plant since 2007 (03/01)

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