Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., is poised to become the first U.S. facility authorized to slaughter horses and process the meat in seven years after lawmakers halted the practice by defunding inspections. U.S. officials issued a permit for the facility and are expected to do the same for planned operations in Iowa and Missouri. The practice has encountered resistance from groups that argue the facilities are ripe for abuse, while proponents say slaughter is a humane way of dealing with overpopulation and the growing problem of abandonment.

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