EL PASO, Texas - Plans for a horse slaughter plant in New Mexico have been halted.
A U.S. district judge decided to issue a restraining order against the Valley Meat Co. of Roswell after the Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit.
The Humane Society said the Department of Agriculture failed to do the proper environmental studies before issuing permits.
Horse meat would be exported for human consumption and as animal food at zoos.
This move stops what would have been the resurgence of horse slaughter for the first time in seven years in the U.S.
Chaves county officials said they were investigating a blaze at Valley Meat Co., which they called "very suspicious," which happened last weekend.