Friday News Roundup: Appeals Court Vacates Ban On US Horse Slaughter

Dec 13, 2013

Appeals Court Vacates Ban On US Horse Slaughter - Associated Press 

A federal appeals court has cleared the way for companies in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa to resume domestic horse slaughter.

In an order Friday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver removed an emergency injunction that had blocked the plants from opening.

The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups appealed after a federal judge in Albuquerque rejected their lawsuit alleging the Department of Agriculture failed to conduct proper environmental studies when it issued permits for the slaughterhouses.

An attorney for Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., and Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., says by lifting the stay, the appellate court is saying it's unlikely the protection groups would win their appeal.

Still, attorney Blair Dunn says it could be months before the court makes a final ruling on the animal protection groups' appeal.

Albuquerque Police Say Man Shot Had HammerAssociated Press

Albuquerque Police Chief Allen Banks says a 37-year-old man shot and killed by police had charged at officers with a 10-inch hammer after being shot with bean bags.

Banks told reporters Friday that Andy Jack Snider ignored officers' commands and ran toward officers until he was shot by Officer Hector Marquez on Sunday.

Banks says Snider had gotten into an argument with another person at a nearby convenience store, which prompted a 911 call.

The shooting is the fifth involving Albuquerque officers this month, and the 35th since 2010. The department is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department investigation.

Asked about the recent surge in shootings, Banks said the department can't predict people's actions.


Judge To Consider Evidence In NM Right-To-Die Case - Associated Press

It could be a month before a ruling is issued in a challenge against New Mexico's assisted suicide law.

State District Judge Nan Nash said she has a lot of information to consider after hearing closing arguments Thursday.

Two doctors and a Santa Fe cancer patient sued in March 2012. They're seeking to make it legal for physicians in New Mexico to prescribe needed medications for terminally ill patients who want to end their lives on their own terms.

Under state law, it's a fourth-degree felony to assist someone in suicide.

The plaintiffs argue that the decades-old law is vague and doesn't specifically address the conduct of physicians. They also say competent, terminally ill patients should be able to have the choice if they want to end their lives.

NM Alzheimer's Group Offering Spanish Classes - Associated Press

The Alzheimer's Association in New Mexico is holding Spanish-language classes for people who are caring for loved ones with the Alzheimer's disease.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the group is offering classes Friday and Saturday at the San Isidro Catholic Church in Santa Fe.

Annabelle Montoya says the organization is hosting the Spanish courses because of the growing demand from the state's immigrant community. She says the point of the course is to teach caregivers to stay calm in a high-stress situation.

Velma Arellano, the executive director of Sierra Vista, an assisted living residence, says she has encouraged employees to take the Spanish-language course because some residents whose native language is Spanish have forgotten English.

NM Senators Seek Protections For Organ Mountains - Associated Press

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have reignited a decade-old effort to seek federal protections for a mountain range that borders one of the state's largest cities as well as other scenic areas in Dona Ana County.

The senators on Thursday announced legislation that would designate about 780 square miles as the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

Udall and Heinrich say establishing the area as a monument would help conservation efforts and boost economic development for the border region. The monument would include eight new wilderness areas and would be overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.

The legislation is supported by environmentalists, local civic groups and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation.

Efforts to protect the area date back more than a dozen years.