HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- The sponsor of a Montana law encouraging a new horse slaughter plant says he is courting Chinese investors for the venture.

But state Rep. Ed Butcher of Winifred says any plans for building such a facility in Montana are a long way off -- even if he can get Chinese businessman to look at the deal.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved a new law limiting opportunities for legal action to oppose their construction. Supporters says lawsuits did under previous horse slaughter plants in the United States.

Butcher says such plants are needed to help deal with the problem of abandoned horses.

Federal laws stand in the way, too. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is banned from inspecting the plants, and any meat shipped overseas needs that inspection.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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