Suburban Sacrifices

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal appeals court Wednesday hears the
case of a Santeria priest who sued a Fort Worth suburb for barring him from sacrificing a goat as part of a religious ceremony.

Jose Merced accused the city of Euless of violating his constitutional freedom of religious exercise, but U.S. District Judge John McBryde of Fort Worth sided with the city and dismissed the Puerto Rico native's claims last year.

Merced asks the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn McBryde's ruling. A three-judge panel is to hear the case Wednesday
in New Orleans.

Euless says certain animal sacrifices pose a threat to public health and violate its slaughterhouse and animal cruelty ordinances. Merced's lawyer say he's sacrificed animals at his Euless home for 16 years without incident.


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