Iowa plant drops horse-slaughter plan

An Iowa company is dropping plans to slaughter horses in the wake of a federal judge's ruling that temporarily banned the practice.

The company's president, Keaton Walker, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he couldn't afford to wait for more court deliberations.

His company, Responsible Transportation, was given federal approval to slaughter horses at the company's Iowa plant starting Aug. 1.

But a judge issued a temporary restraining order after animal-welfare groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, sued.

The case sparked a national debate about how best to deal with tens of thousands of abandoned horses.

Walker says the Iowa plant will convert to a beef-only operation and seek new federal approval.

The lawsuit also affects a New Mexico company that plans to slaughter horses.

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