WASHINGTON -- A New Mexico meat plant received federal approval on Friday to slaughter horses for meat, a move that drew immediate opposition from animal rights group and will likely be opposed by the White House.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said it was required by law to issue a "grant of inspection" to Valley Meat Co, Roswell, New Mexico, because it had met all federal requirements. Now, the USDA is obliged to assign meat inspectors to the plant.
The USDA also said it may soon issue similar grants for plants in Missouri and Iowa.
Horse meat cannot be sold as food in the United States, but it can be exported. Attempts to reach Valley Meat Co. via a number listed online were unsuccessful.