It’s official. The controversial horse slaughterhouse in New Mexico will not be opening. “I think it’s just time to stop and see what will happen now,” said Valley Meat Owner Rick De Los Santos.
For almost four years, De Los Santos has been trying to slaughter horses for food. He’s faced court battles from animal rights groups and the Attorney General along with federal push back. Earlier this year the President signed a bill to stop funding horse slaughterhouse inspections until 2016.
Friday, De Le Santos told KRQE News 13 the fight is over. “It really is at this point at the end of that business in Roswell by them,” said Valley Meat Attorney A. Blair Dunn. On Thursday, Dunn submitted a letter to the New Mexico Environmental Department withdrawing the plant’s application for a ground water discharge permit.
The permit, which would allow the plant to discharge animal waste, is a must for the plant to operate. Blair claims the department strung them along for seven months, never saying no the permit, but never saying yes either.
“They’ve been telling us well we need a 30-day extension, we need 45 days, we need 60, we cant make a decision right now,” said De Los Santos.
The letter states the inability of the Secretary to make a decision has contributed to the destruction of Valley Meat’s lawful business. Valley Meet also claims the Attorney General’s office played a big role in the slaughterhouse closure and Dunn says there’s a good chance they’ll sue the state because of it.
Animal activists say they’re happy the horse slaughter fight is ending. “It’s great news for New Mexico,” said Laura Bonar with Animal Protection of New Mexico. “Horse slaughter is cruel, horse slaughter is dangerous and horse slaughter is not supported by Americans.”
Source: KRQE, by Emily Younger
Click here to read Valley Meat's Notice of Withdrawal of Application to the New Mexico Environmental Department.
(SANTA FE)---State District Court Judge Matthew Wilson today granted Attorney General Gary King’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Valley Meat Company, preventing the opening of a proposed horse slaughterhouse until the AG’s lawsuit is resolved.
“The judge’s decision allows our lawsuit to continue while preventing the immediate killing of horses for human consumption,” says AG King. “I still strongly believe that Valley Meat’s proposal for commercial horse slaughter posed a serious danger to consumers and to our environment.”
With the close scrutiny of horse slaughter that the Attorney General’s lawsuit has prompted, the U.S. Congress has approved, and the President has signed, an appropriations bill that restores the long-standing prohibition on funding for federal inspection of horse slaughterhouses – which effectively bans commercial horse slaughter nationwide.
Attorney General King is especially grateful to U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, for their supportive efforts to de-fund the federal inspections.
Numerous other individuals and groups have helped accomplish this important result, particularly Front Range Equine Rescue, which first discovered Valley Meat’s plans to get into the horse meat business and has worked tirelessly ever since to stop those operations, and Animal Protection of New Mexico, which has led the fight for equine protection in our state.
Click Here to read the filing [PDF]
Source: NEWS RELEASE, Attorney General Gary K. King
January 8, 2014
(Albuquerque, NM) – Candidate for Governor Gary King today called on Governor Martinez to take immediate steps to block the proposed horse slaughterhouse in Roswell by directing her Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to take into serious consideration the opinion of the state environmental hearing officer who yesterday recommended that the operational permits to the Valley Meat company be denied.
“By waiting to block the permits, Governor Martinez has not only endangered these majestic horses, she is wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars. She could end this highly controversial project now by instructing her cabinet Secretary in charge of granting or denying a permit to the Valley Meat company to consider the strong evidence against this project,” said King.
“Horse slaughter is wrong. Human consumption of horse meat that may contain drugs could be dangerous. Discharging thousands of gallons of waste every day from an industrial horse slaughter operation would harm the environment,” said King. “Governor Martinez could have taken action long ago to address this controversy. This isn’t about politics – it’s about the humane treatment of horses and good stewardship. The only question is whether she will finally make the right decision. ”
“I am grateful to the many thousands of people from within New Mexico and around the country who have signed my petition, asking Gov. Martinez to stop the horse slaughterhouse. While the state court will hopefully make the right decision, this has gone on too long,” King added.
Source: Gary King for Governor