Federal judge postpones bond hearing in horse case

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge in Albuquerque has postponed until Thursday a bond hearing for the animal rights groups who won a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter.

The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and others on Friday won a temporary restraining order that blocked plans by companies in Roswell, N.M., and Sigourney, Iowa, to start slaughtering horses this week.

But before their lawsuit challenging the Department of Agriculture's June decision to open the plants can proceed, a bond must be posted to cover the companies' losses should the animal groups lose.

Blair Dunn, who represents Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, says he will seek at least $10 million.

The hearing was scheduled Monday. But federal Magistrate Robert Scott says he needs more time to hear arguments.

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