UPDATE 8/5 4p: A federal judge in Albuquerque has postponed until Thursday a bond hearing for the animal rights groups who won a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter.
The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and others on Friday won a temporary restraining order that blocked plans by companies in Roswell, N.M., and Sigourney, Iowa, to start slaughtering horses this week.
But before their lawsuit challenging the Department of Agriculture's June decision to open the plants can proceed, a bond must be posted to cover the companies' losses should the animal groups lose.
Blair Dunn, who represents Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, says he will seek at least $10 million.
The hearing was scheduled Monday. But federal Magistrate Robert Scott says he needs more time to hear arguments.
A federal judge has temporarily halted plans by companies in New Mexico and Iowa to start slaughtering horses next week.
U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo on Friday issued a restraining order in a lawsuit brought by The Humane Society of the United States and other groups. They contend the Department of Agriculture failed to do the proper environmental studies before issuing permits that would allow the first horse slaughters in the U.S. since 2006.
Two slaughterhouses — one in Roswell, N.M., and another in Sigourney, Iowa — were set to open on Monday. But the Albuquerque-based judge on Friday issued the restraining order and scheduled another hearing for next week.
Meat from the slaughterhouses would be exported for human consumption and for use as zoo and other animal food.