BUSINESS DIGEST || Horse slaughter cleared to resume
Horse slaughter cleared to resume
A federal judge cleared the way Friday for horse slaughterhouses to resume operating in the U.S. as early as next week.
U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo in Albuquerque threw out a lawsuit by The Humane Society of the United States and other animal-protection groups that alleged the Department of Agriculture failed to conduct proper environmental studies when it issued permits to Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., and an Iowa company to slaughter horses for human consumption.
The decision ends, for now, a two-year battle by Valley Meat to open the slaughterhouse.
The Iowa company converted to cattle because of the court fight. But attorneys say Valley and Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., are poised to open as early as Monday.
A temporary order blocking a return to domestic equine slaughter had expired Thursday night. Attorneys for the groups that sued the Agriculture Department over its permitting procedures then filed a motion Friday seeking an extension of the restraining order.
Ford recalls ambulances
Ford is recalling about 3,100 F-Series ambulances because the engines can stop unexpectedly.
The F-350, F-450 and F-550 “Super Duty” ambulances have 6.7-liter diesel engines. They’re from the 2011 and 2012 model years.
Ford says a faulty exhaust-gas temperature sensor can cause the engines to stop and not be restarted for at least an hour. The company says it has no reports of the problem affecting patient care.
Most of the ambulances were sold in the U.S., with some in Canada and other countries.
Dealers will replace the sensor.
Ford says the problem could occur on nonambulance versions of the same trucks, but the company isn’t recalling them. Drivers will get a warning and enough time to safely pull off the road before the engine shuts down.
Price of oil falls to four-month low
The price of oil fell to the lowest level in more than four months Friday as concerns over high supplies continued to discourage investors.
Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery dropped $1.77 to close at $94.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The 1.8 percent drop to start November follows a nearly 6 percent decline in the price of oil in the month of October.
Ample supplies of crude have weighed on the price in recent weeks. The Energy Department said Wednesday that U.S. supplies increased 4.1 million barrels last week. Over five weeks, supplies have risen by more than 25 million barrels.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international crude also used by U.S. refineries, fell $2.93 to $105.91 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.