Former Gov. Bill Richardson and U.S. Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack
Former Gov. Bill Richardson Thursday met in Washington D.C with meet with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and urge him to stop the reopening of horse slaughterhouses, but didn’t come back with the response he hoped to hear.
“I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s willingness to meet with me and listen to the concerns of our foundation and those of others who adamantly oppose horse slaughter,” Richardson said in a news release. “Secretary Vilsack made it clear
to me that he opposes horse slaughter, but said he has to follow federal rules.”
Richardson suggested that the USDA immediately conduct a complete review of its rule making procedures regarding horse slaughter and that it block any horse slaughterhouse from reopening until that review is completed. The meeting was part of an effort made to prevent the opening of a horse slaughterhouse near Roswell. “We appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s willingness to listen to our suggestions, and we hope that today’s meeting will be an important milestone in the fight against horse slaughter.”
“I impressed on him the urgency of the matter as the welfare of these animals and the impact to the environment hangs in the balance,” Richardson added.
Richardson’s trip was on behalf of The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife, an animal protection foundation he recently founded with actor Robert Redford. Earlier in the week the Foundation announced its first action was joining a federal lawsuit
against the USDA that seeks to block horse slaughter.
Brian Egolf, attorney for the foundation, said:”The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife believes, as the vast majority of Americans do, that horse slaughter has no place in our country.