Federal inspectors are taking the extraordinary step of asking a judge to grant access to a small slaughterhouse in Hillsdale County, the latest step in a seven-year feud with the owner.
Donald Carpenter said Monday he doesn't run a retail business and butchers cows only for people who want meat for personal use. He says that makes Hickory Hills Processing exempt from inspection.
But the government says Carpenter's business still is subject to periodic checks to ensure it is following the law. The government has filed a lawsuit to get inside Hickory Hills, 80 miles south of Lansing.
The government says it tried to set up an inspection in July, but Carpenter replied, "over my dead body." Officials have turned to the courts in the past to inspect the slaughterhouse.