A Daviess County meat processing plant is sparking controversy nation-wide.

Rains Natural Meats has been processing beef and pork for years. The owners recently expressed their interest in getting into the horse-slaughtering business, enraging animals rights organizations from around the country.

A judge recently ordered the Department of Natural Resources to hold off on issuing a wastewater permit for the facility. This prevents them from beginning operations. A federal court has also issued a temporary restraining order that prevents the USDA from inspecting horse slaughter plants, which prevents the facilities from opening anywhere in the United States.

The plant is in Missouri’s Second District, which is represented by Casey Guernsey, of Bethany. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Guernsey:

Casey Guernsey

Guernsey is fighting to allow the plant to open. “Horse slaughter is politically unpopular, and Governor Nixon isn’t interested in allowing a permit to be processed simply because there could potentially be an element that is politically difficult or controversial involved,” said Guernsey.

Guernsey has not heard any opposition to the facility from his rural constituents.”The only people I know of who are opposed to this are the usual suspects. The anti-agricultural community of the Humane Society, HSUS, and PETA,” said Guernsey, “And these kind of radical groups that are animal-right groups who, themselves, don’t even know how to take care of animals.”

The District 2 Representative has been working with the plant’s owners and the Department of Natural Resources to secure this permit for the family. “The problem is, politics have entered into this arena, and it is a public issue that the governor would rather not deal with. So it’s going to take a lot of pressure, I think, in order to get what we need to allow this plant to be put online,” said Guernsey.