The lawyer for a New Mexico meat plant that wants to be the first to slaughter horses in the U.S. since 2007 says the facility may be operational in three weeks.

“We’re getting ready to go,” A. Blair Dunn, attorney for Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, New Mexico, said today in a phone interview. The plant may eventually have about 100 employees processing as many as 100 horses a day for export, he said.

The company is one of several that have applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to slaughter horses, a practice that ended in 2007 after Congress defunded government inspections at the facilities. That measure lapsed in 2011.

The USDA, which would regulate the plant, didn’t immediately comment on the lawyer’s assertion. The agency this month said that once the company meets technical requirements and inspector training has taken place, “the department will legally have no choice but to go forward with inspections.”

For more, see: Horse-Slaughter Plant’s Lawyer Says Opening Three Weeks Away

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