What is the big Hang Up over eating Horse Meat



NewspaperYou have to really feel bad for Rick De Los Santos , owner of Valley Meat in Roswell, NM. His horse slaughterhouse would solve a few problems in New Mexico. There are thousands of malnourished horses in New Mexico that are being neglected either intentionally or because the owners are not financially able to take care of them. Also as many as 120 jobs would be created which would be a welcome employment boost!

De Los Santos may be once again impeded by the government even though he has done his due diligence and spent a lot of money getting his slaughterhouse up to standards. There are over 90,000 horses being slaughtered in Mexico annually which proves there is a high demand for the service that Valley meat Company would provide.

I think the primary resistance to opening the slaughterhouse is bleeding heart animal right activists who ignore the glaring fact that many horses are suffering due to neglect and slaughtering them humanely for a profit is the correct course of action

Owners of Valley Meat Co. in Roswell are carrying on with plans to open their local slaughterhouse to start processing horse meat, hopefully by the end of April, despite a pair of bills introduced by Congress Wednesday that could all but shut its doors.
Following months of legal wrangling, owner Rick De Los Santos expects the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finally issue a Grant of Inspection, allowing the company to begin production, said attorney A. Blair Dunn.
“They’re moving along as planned,” Dunn said. “They’ve done everything they’re supposed to do. They’re going to continue on and get ready to go into business.”
De Los Santos, a longtime rancher who moved to Roswell 25 years ago, processed beef cattle and employed more than 40 people at the location. Valley Meat ceased operation before submitting the new application recently.
If authorized to begin operations, Valley Meat expects to employ 40 to 100 workers at its site on Cedarvale Road, Dunn said. The company does not plan to sell its product within the U.S, but to countries where a market exists for the meat—such as in Europe, Japan and China.
The company estimates taking in $10 million in business.
“It’s a revenue generator, and that’s taxable income for the area,” Dunn said. “I think the company want to do the right thing from an agricultural standpoint and a horse welfare standpoint.”
But after months of legal battles, Valley Meat once again finds itself in the spotlight after Wednesday’s introduction of two Congressional bills by Sens. Mary Landriew, D- La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakow-sky, D-Ill.
If passed, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act (SAFE) legislation would stop the transport American equine or equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for human consumption, and permanently stop horse slaughter in the U.S. The measure would stall reopening horse slaughter plants in the U.S. and end transportation of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter there

Valley Meat’s attorney said the latest attempt to thwart business is troublesome.
“It’s certainly very scary for us and for Roswell in general,” Dunn said. “(Valley Meat) has done everything they were supposed to do. They relied on Congress. Now, we have people come in and make more of an emotional decision rather than a decision based on science or a factual decision.”
Congress basically outlawed horse slaughtering by barring USDA from spending any money on horsemeat inspections since 2007. The owner sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture in October for failing to provide equine inspection services at the facility.
Valley Meat was one of several companies to fight the USDA to re-establish inspections of horse-slaughter facilities, according to Justin DeJong, a spokesman for the agriculture department.
The slaughterhouses were required to complete necessary technical re-quirements and the Food Safety Inspection Service had to complete inspector training, he said. But once complete, the USDA had no choice but to move forward with the inspections.
Valley Meat has wanted to “do the right thing from an agricultural standpoint and a horse welfare standpoint all along,” Dunn said.


18 comments on “What is the big Hang Up over eating Horse MeatAdd yours →

  1. NLMCM made some convincing comments on the post “horse meat: honest business or inhumane”. He is only guilty of a single logical fallacy, the law of the excluded middle, since a horse meat slaughterhouse can be mostly an honest business but also have elements of dishonesty and deception. This happens to be true of all business endeavors.

    You did not do your homework before presenting this story. In addition to the above comments there are many more problems with this report. I would ask that you do a follow up story, with more background research. You might think twice about painting horse slaughter as an industry to be sympathetic towards. You would have seen the suspension of Valley Meats abiltiy to slaughter cattle. You would have also seen claims of improper disposal of the unusable cattle parts. Why on earth would you be fooled by an empty plant and a clean white shirt? Did you ask what he spent the 75k on? Was it to come into compliance with already existing laws? Did you know that according to a recent poll, over 80% of Americans are opposed to horse slaughter? Did you also know that the horse slaughter industry is not the altruistic bunch that claim to be? They are a for profit industry. They only slaughter what they can sell. They are not a public service. Were you aware that the horse slaughter industry does not want the old, lame, starved & sick horses they claim they will take care of. Think about it, do you really want to eat any animal that is old and sick or that someone “found”? Their argument makes no sense. Were you also aware that most English speaking countries do not consume horsemeat, and yet the horse slaughter industry wants to use our tax dollars to pay for inspections for them to ship overseas? Vickery Eckhoff has writen many articles for Forbes magazine. Perhaps you could start there if you are going to use others work as your main source of information. Also google “when horse slaughter comes to town” I bet it will be an eye-opener. After all, how many folks want their crime rates to rise, their towns to become polluted and their property values to plummet? Bet the answer will be more than 80%.

  2. Do you really want to kill and eat your beloved companion animal? The FDA has declared horses as companion animals. Betty Pritchard and Patience O’Dowd want to ensure that all horses have the right to be wild and free.

    It makes no difference that many New Mexico horse owners can not afford to properly care for, water, and feed their horses. I would rather see the horses suffer and endure a miserable death than let Rick de Los santos profit by humanely killing the horses and selling the meat to third world countries.

    1. The Feds must have some personal bias against slaughtering horses. I would be angry if I were in Rick De Los Santos’ shoes. He has an evaporative lagoon and should not be charged any additional fees for possible water pollution.

      1. Emily Guerin, writing for the High Country News, did a nice piece on both sides of this controversial topic. She describes how many ranchers are running out of the resources required to take care of their horses clashing with the horse’s symbolic value of the American Spirit.

  3. Word is the suspected arson at Valley Meat was set by some bleeding heart horse lover. Rumors are flying around town that arson investigators know who set the fire, but are waiting on surveillance video enhancements before an indictment can be executed. Not sure if this is true. Person should be arrested and punished.

    1. JERI CLAUSING of the The Associated Press wrote riveting piece about De Los Santos receiving death threats, Roswell,nm residents hoping he burns in hell or saying they would slit his throat in his sleep. Many Roswell citizens are inbred clueless morons.

      1. NM attorney General Gary King has cost Roswell 75 much needed jobs with his predatory litigation against Valley Meat horse slaughter house as characterized by lawyer Blair Dunn. Rick de Los Santos should sue the state and King should be removed from office. Two immediate family members were counting on those jobs opening up. Now they have to stay on food stamp program!!

  4. Federal magistrate just ruled that animal rights groups that won a temporary ban on horse slaughter must post $500,000 bond. Responsible transportation out of Sigourney, Iowa stands to lose a great deal of money daily if these pathetic “horse lovers” get their way. Jean Ortiz is clueless.

  5. Navajo Nation dealt valley meat a fatal blow by reversing their position, stating they will no longer roundup wild emaciated horses. Navajo Nation had originally backed the opening of Roswell based horse slaughter house. Their hearts are now bleeding again claiming that horses are sacred symbols of American spirit.

  6. Lisa Cummings Kowals of Roswell New Mexico displayed her stupidity by publicly indicating we should ban horse slaughter forever in front of Chaves county courthouse. Cummings must be her maiden name. You have to feel sorry for her husband. Lisa, nobody would mind if you moved away, especially the suffering horses.

  7. Blair Dunn, Keaton Walker, and De Los Santos have patiently waited for all the obstructions by The INHUMANE Society to be legally removed. Now they can begin processing equine for human consumption! Translated: killing horses for folks to eat. Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, Mo. already has horses on site for “processing”.

  8. Rick De Los Santos reported on TV last night that he has to have 24/7 security now that he has been cleared by Feds to legally slaughter and sell horse meat to Belgium, Russia, and other overseas interests. Ignorant rednecks in Roswell have already made threats against his life when he slaughters his first horse January 1. Their phone numbers are traceable and they will end up in jail where they belong.

  9. Attorney General Gary King should be penalized for abusing the powers of his position. King should have to post bond according to Blair Dunn for unfairly delaying the slaughtering of horses in Roswell. King’s personal views on horse slaughter are not germane and he should be quashed!!

  10. Did anybody read the petition that bimbo out of Albuquerque named Adele Martin created to oppose horse slaughterhouses? Cows get slaughtered and feel pain and nobody gets excited about that . There are thousands of feral, uncared for horses who are suffering slow miserable starvation deaths.

  11. I bet Peter Hurley of Placitas,NM is upset at Gary King for shutting down horse slaughter house in Roswell. He is afraid feral horses overgrazing will turn region into dust bowl. Gary Miles of the animal rescue however, would go to the grave defending these emaciated underfed animals. Cliven Bundy not available for comment.

    1. peter hurley has done a great job of outlining the destructive effect of feral horses. He has shown that politicians like Gary King who just want to get reelected can be very bad for ranchers and the overall economy in NM by making thoughtless unjustified decisions regarding the shutting down of horse slaughter houses.

  12. What a fascinating article penned by Lisa Dunlap of Roswell Daily Record about animal reclassification. She did not do a particularly good job of distinguishing between the classification of livestock and other unstated classifications(wild animals I presume). Terry Bogle, owner of Reins for Life which is an equine therapeutic enterprise in Dexter, appears to clash with the view of Patience O’Dowd, president of Wild Horses Observation Association(WHOA). So, we have an instance of where Patience is NOT patient with another perspective! WHOA has been charged with using birth control darts to sterilize mares in herds of wild horses in Placitas area north of Albuquerque.

    Its also odd that Dr. Lester Friedlander Vegetarian and USDA opponent also appears to back sterilization of mares, but stands against horse slaughterhouses. What happened to your rational though faculty Doc? Please respond to this and enlighten the masses on how a learned man like you could have such a conspicuous lapse in common sense.

    James Kleinert, Val Hogsett, Jordan Beckett(Oregon attorney), Jo-Claire Corcoran, and Nancy Watson all appear to be in the same camp.

  13. Lets hope USA Beef Packing Limited Liability Corporation does not not get senslessly blocked like Rick De Los Santos, sole proprietor of Valley Meat. It will be a 350 million dollar economic stimulus elevating property values and increasing services to Roswell Residents! Than you Jose Madrid for taking a well calculated chance with dope, meth, and alcohol addiction ravaged alien city!
    Your experience and skills running Deprisa equipment company in El Paso,TX will certainly translate to excellence and extra jobs in Alien City while running a beef processinng plant that will supercharge the dairy industry!!!!

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