Advocacy Groups Plan to Battle Proposed NM Horse Slaughterhouse in Court

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Two animal advocacy groups, Front Range Equine Rescue and the Humane Society of the United States, have filed a 60-day notice to sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture if that agency agrees to provide inspections to a Roswell, N.M.-based slaughterhouse that hopes to begin processing horses. The Valley Meat Company would become the first U.S.-based plant to begin processing horse meat since the federal government restored funding for such operations.

According to a report in the Albuquerque Journal, officials with the Valley Meat Company expect the USDA to carry out a final walk-through of the plant next week, before deciding whether to issue a permit that would clear the way for horse-processing operations to begin.

The advocacy groups claim that the USDA has “failed to adhere to the Endangered Species Act because the agency did not consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the impact Valley Meats’ proposed operations could have on threatened and endangered species in the area.”

The processing plant is located near the South Spring River and the Pecos River, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Bottomless Lakes State Park. The groups claim that waste water and other byproducts could threaten the habitats of several threatened or endangered species in the area.

Read more in the Albuquerque Journal

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  • old horse lover

    Real shame that horsemen and women don’t step up to the plate and stop horse slaughter and the transportation of slaughter of our horses.Money is driving it and there is enough influence and power with in the horse owners of America to put and end to ths once and for all.

    • http://twitter.com/Bellwether4U Bellwether

      Amen Brother Ben!!!…Great Post…ty…

    • ziggypop

      Money and a complete lack of morals and ethics.

    • nu-fan

      Thank you “old horse lover” for your direct–and correct–words.

  • dispute92

    How true, Old Horse Lover. Many of us are on watch of various racehorses whom were bred and once owned by these well to do owners and breeders. Many have won some considerable cash and the owner, if there, is first to take the lead when their horses win. Sadly, after they let them go, they feel it is the new owners responsibility. It happened last year to one I had in a partnership years ago. He was now at the 2,500 claiming tag. The breeder would not respond nor would her trainer. It took months to get a trainer at this horrible track to claim him for us. If word gets out you are trying to rescue, the new owner and trainer of said horse, will place them in higher claiming ranks for the extra cash or proceed with other vicious tactics such as a bus ride to Canada.They can be very spiteful.
    Let’s hope someone will hear this group’s message. Not for lack of trying by these rescue groups, that is for sure. Money talks as we well know, when it comes to politicians.

    • Roisin

      You are right. Some of these people need to be out of the business. Their focus is totally on the money. I tracked a horse for several months and found him running in a $400,000 claimer. I knew he had been injured and should not have been near a track I claimed him because I was afraid to wait. He is now a geat trail horse and a real love. He delights in little children. He was quite crazy when I first got him and I wondered what he had in his system !!

      • dispute92

        The days of ups and downs in this rescue buisness is very stressful. I am just getting out of debt myself, since most of the money came from my savings. The partnership helped with a grand and some “true” friends helped me as well. That was it! New York Breeders, not even a returned call, Cantor (who has a group there in MI, nothing), breeder, nothing. I searched the internet for help and four women affaliated with a rescue in MI, were returning my emails within seconds. One in particular, (Operates the rescue I went through) was on the phone making calls just trying to find a trainer at that track that would help… plus making sure no one knew who was affilaited with this horse what we were trying to do. It took months and unfortunately, the trainer and owner found out and increased his claming price to 4,000 from 2,500. She even talked to the trainer once we knew she found out but no way was she going to take the 2,500 when she knew she would get the 4,000. They are vendictive people.
        Sadly, not all want to be racehorses. Those are usually the ones these wealthy owners and trainers toss into claimers along with those that they know have severe injuries. Breaks your heart. Thank you Roisin and all else that have tried one way or another to help these defenseless animals. I wish there was some way we could show the true colors of these owners but… it takes more than a few to take down so many who are guilty of this procedure.

        • Roisin

          Thank you for your kind words. I have spent quite a bit to get these horses. One trainer was really nice and I was able to buy an 8,000 claimer, I had been tracking, for much less. He had claimed the filly from a less than honorable trainer who was starting her in distance races when she was clearly a sprinter(Smokeglacken) Also, he was starting her sometimes with less than a weeks rest There are so many bad situations out there and the horse is too often the loser.

          The real heroes are the people who attend the auctions and do their best against the kill buyers. That is tough !

          • dispute92

            You deserve the kind comments for what you do. I agree, those poor people who wait at those kill pens day in and day out… need our support. The gals that went after the gelding I was trying to rescue have some amazing stories to tell and all are just heart breaking. There are videos out there showing what goes on with these poor animals on their way to Canada and it isn’t a Disneyland ride.
            More need to help. Donations can do a lot of good. Better than doing nothing.
            (S poster) I can not agree that a horse is not a pet. To the gambler, yes that is true. To a little girl or boy that owns one…They sure are their pets. To a child wth cancer, they are therapy, as well as their pet. Horses have always been a big part in the American culture. Why should they not now?

      • S

        400,000 claimed??? And when you took him off track he was filled with sweet feed and on tilt because he is a professional athlete fresh out of training. But bravo for you for doing something you believe in and for giving him a good retirement.

        • Roisin

          Sorry, I got carried away with zeros ! Of course I claimed him for $4,000.

      • Roisin

        Of course I meant 4 thousand… I got carried away with the zeros ! Sorry..

  • In Tears

    We need to stand with these two groups that are going to confront the USDA. This will be tough and in the mean time the govener that owns the plant will look for loop holes to keep killing helpless horses. When the Paulick Report first reported this I tried to contact media groups, no one wanted to hear me. Earlier this week I finally received a long winded full of hot air letter from our congressmen. Toilet paper

    • http://twitter.com/Bellwether4U Bellwether

      That’s because those Clowns have their Heads between their Cheeks…

      • ziggypop

        They have fallen in love with power, and the money given to them via ALEC, farm bureau, cattlemen’s and pork associations. I may add, we do not hear this industry standing up, decrying the abuse and barbarism that is horse slaughter, and getting into bed with AQHA on any level is suicidal.

  • In Tears

    Dispute96 You have made some good points here. I went through this with a good two year old. That was the result of breeding my stud with a owners mare. They send a smart athletic colt to a trainer when I begged them to wait another year cause he just wasn’t ready. They refused to spend more money waiting. I am very reasonable in boarding. The trainer said he is too small and not strong enough. The colt got the ride to Canada. I broke and was riding the colt. He was coming along just fine. His two half brothers now three year olds just broke their maidens. One in his first the other in his second. I am getting calls on the stallion, I am not breeding anymore. someone has to take responsibility somehow.

    • ziggypop

      Bravo for you “not breeding anymore” stance. You get a “tip of the hat” today for your moral position to protect the horses over greed. Have a super day!

  • http://twitter.com/Bellwether4U Bellwether

    These post here go to prove the are some DECENT HUMANS left on this Planet…Please don’t give up the Fight!!!…ty…

  • Roisin

    We should lend our support in whatever way we can, no matter how small it may seem.

  • S

    None of you bunny hungers have posted a comment pertaining to this article. What species are endangered in the area? Anyone care to comment on the impact this plant will have on the local wildlife? To some people horses are pets to me they are not my dogs are pets. To me a horse is for business just like cattle to a rancher raised for a specific purpose. So again address the article and quit wining

    • Roisin

      What is the point of calling people “bunny hungers” ? Use the link to the Albuquerque Journal to read about the issues re the location of the slaughter house, etc.
      You are entitled to view horses however you wish. However, as you said horses are raised for a specific purpose but, unlike cattle, the specific purpose is not slaughter.

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