About eight miles outside of Roswell, N.M., a shuttered cattle farm is getting ready to reopen its doors. Only this time, the Valley Meat Co. won’t be killing cows. It hopes to be the first U.S. farm to start slaughtering horses for human consumption.

Not far behind could be plants in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma.

Across the country, companies are applying for permits with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to kill horses for food – a practice Congress ended in 2007. The measure to stop the slaughters, though, lapsed in 2011 and now companies are clamoring to get back into the game.