ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Congress has again cut funding for inspections at horse slaughterhouses, the latest blow to efforts to resume horse slaughter in the U.S.
Congress on Thursday passed a $1.1 trillion budget bill that prohibits the Department of Agriculture from spending money for inspectors at equine facilities.
The last domestic horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007, a year after Congress first cut funding for the inspections in an attempt to shutter the industry.
Funding was restored in 2011, and Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, New Mexico, has been fighting ever since to convert its small cattle operation to horse slaughter.
Companies in Iowa and Missouri had also received permits to open last year, but the efforts have been blocked by lawsuits.
Animal protection groups are applauding the vote.