A US federal appeals court issued a temporary injunction on November 4th preventing the US Department of Agriculture(USDA) from conducting inspections at would be horse slaughter facilities in New Mexico, Iowa and Missouri.

The decision was made by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, after a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups in July, was thrown out of court on November 1st, by a US District Judge in New Mexico.

As reported earlier, the lawsuit alleged that the USDA had failed to conduct the appropriate environmental reviews before granting slaughter permits to Valley Meat Co. (New Mexico), Responsible Transportation (Iowa) and Rains Natural Meats (in Missouri).

Despite having their lawsuit dismissed, the animal protection groups were able to convince a two-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to issue the emergency injunction while their appeal is still pending.

Stay tuned for more information as the story develops.