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California rancher to buy closed slaughterhouse

PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) -- A California rancher says they intend to buy a recently shuttered slaughterhouse at the center of a massive meat recall that the federal government accuses of circumventing federal inspection rules.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1fDsEM4 ) that Marin Sun Farms will buy the Petaluma-based Rancho Feeding Corp., which voluntarily halted operations this month following a recall of more than 8.7 million pounds of beef that it processed.

Marin Sun founder David Evans said Thursday he has a deal in escrow to purchase the plant and will expand operations to slaughter species other than cattle and process organic-certified meat.

Rancho co-owner Robert Singleton confirms that a deal is underway.

The deal comes as the United States Department of Agriculture is accusing Rancho of processing diseased and unhealthy animals without a full federal inspection.

Singleton denies the USDA's allegation.

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Information from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemocrat.com

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