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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico judge will decide Friday whether a Roswell company can move ahead with plans for slaughtering horses.

State District Judge Matthew Wilson made the announcement after a hearing Monday on a request from Attorney General Gary King's office for a preliminary injunction against Valley Meat Co.

King has filed a lawsuit alleging the company's operations would violate state environmental and food safety laws.

The plant was blocked from opening last year after animal protection groups brought a federal lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture for issuing permits to Valley and two other companies, which would become the first domestic horse slaughtering plants in seven years. A federal judge threw out that lawsuit. King filed the state case after a federal appeals court declined to keep the plants shuttered.

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