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Judge expedites horse slaughterhouse case

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A federal judge in Albuquerque says she will decide by the end of next month whether a New Mexico horse slaughterhouse can open.

The attorney representing Valley Meat Co. of Roswell says U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo put the case on an expedited schedule Tuesday.

Attorney Blair Dunn says both sides will file briefs over the next month and Armijo says she’ll issue a final ruling by the end of October.

Armijo last month issued a restraining order blocking Valley and an Iowa company from proceeding with plans to become the first plants to slaughter horses domestically in more than six years.

But the Humane Society of the United States and other groups sued the Department of Agriculture, contending it failed to do the proper environmental studies before issuing the companies permits.

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