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Commission Rejects Appeal Over Horse Burials

TIPTON, Iowa (AP) -- An environmental commission has rejected an Iowa pet cemetery owner's request to throw out a $10,000 fine over controversial horse burials.

The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission recently rejected Steve Johnson's appeal. Johnson's attorney, Jeff Bittner, says he will appeal the decision in district court.

The state Department of Natural Resources says Johnson's business practice at Pet Memories in Tipton is a violation of Iowa's solid waste laws, and they create a threat to groundwater.

Bittner argues the horses have not been discarded by their owners, since they pay for a burial. He says his client is being treated differently than farmers who bury animals on their properties.

The newspaper reports commission members plan to seek legislative action to clarify the rules.

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