US animal rights groups will have to post a nearly $500,000 bond if they want to continue their court battle against horse slaughter.

On August 8th, a New Mexico judge ordered the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other horse protection groups to pay the bond to cover economic losses in the event they lose a lawsuit they filed against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for granting permits to plants to resume horse slaughter.

Bruce Wagman, lawyer for the HSUS, said that his clients were working on gathering funds for the bond, calling it an “onerous amount.”

He said his clients intend to see the lawsuit through, however. “Under prevailing case law, plaintiffs should not be required to pay a bond because there is a recognized exception to the payment of any significant bond where litigation is brought in the public interest, as this case was.”

On the other hand, Pat Rogers, lawyer for the three men who run Responsible Transportation and plan to open a plant in Sigourney, Iowa, said that the “bond requires the plaintiffs to put their money where their mouth is.” He added, “There are real-life consequences to these actions and we’re appreciative of the judge recognizing that.”

For more information, read our previous report.