Horse slaughter blocked by federal law

By BARRY MASSEY | January 17, 2014 | 8:04 PM EST

FILE - In this July 16, 2004 file photo provided by the Bureau of Land Management, wild horses are seen on the at the Pryor Mountain National Wild Horse Range in south-central Montana. The attorney for a New Mexico company that has been fighting to open a horse slaughter house says the company is not going to give up despite two lawsuits and Congressional action to block the resumption of domestic horse slaughter with a ban on funding for federal inspections at equine facilities. (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management, Ann Boucher, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The resumption of the commercial slaughtering of horses was blocked Friday as President Barack Obama signed a budget measure that withholds money for required federal inspections of the slaughtering process.

The measure provides temporary funding for the federal government, but it stops the U.S. Agriculture Department from spending on horse slaughterhouse inspections.

The president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the federal government's action reflects the opinions of many Americans that horse slaughter is "abhorrent and unacceptable."

The last domestic horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007, a year after Congress withheld inspection funding. Since federal money was restored in 2011, plants in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa have fought to start slaughtering to potentially export horse meat for overseas consumers.