Valley Meat Refuses to Stop its Illegal Practices

Rotting Horse Corpses at Valley Meats
Rotting Horse Corpses at Valley Meats

Front Range Equine Rescue has discovered that, for years, 15-foot high piles of dead animals have been rotting on the premises of Valley Meat Company in Roswell.

Valley Meat has been in blatant violation of multiple New Mexico environmental statutes for that period, and has refused to stop its illegal practices, despite efforts by the state. FRER has written to the Solid Waste Bureau of the New Mexico Environmental Department, requesting appropriate sanctions. Valley Meat, which could not satisfy its legal obligations with respect to the slaughter of cows, is now attempting to start up a horse slaughter operation. It must be stopped, before there are 15-foot high piles of dead horses endangering groundwater and the surrounding community.

Front Range Equine Rescue wants to emphasize that regardless of whether Valley Meat is now just beginning to comply, and regardless of whether the state believes it is finally getting Valley Meat in compliance, the very serious concern remains about a company that is willing to act in violation of the law for literally years and years. Nothing that is happening now changes that. The question that does not go away, and the concern that will not be abated in the least by any compliance now remains this: Should an operator who has acted in blatant violation of important New Mexico laws for years be granted a new permit to engage in a new form of slaughter business, that as documented in the petitions for rulemaking, increases the dangers of noncompliance for all involved — the community, the environment, and ultimately consumers? That answer must clearly be “no,” and if the law is not enforced, it will only continue to be ignored by operators around the state.

Attached is a chart (Click Here) that identifies just the known failures of Valley Meat, in the past two years, to comply with the law and to make good on promises made to comply. And since the 15-foot high piles of dead and rotting animals were present in January 2010, it is fairly well established that Valley Meat was breaking the law probably for as long as it was in operation, or however long it takes to pile up that many dead animals. The fact that it took the agencies until 2010 to notice it does not change the fact of Valley Meat’s conduct threatening the environment and the community for as long as it was dumping animals outside in this manner. One final point. Even if Valley Meat is now finally moving some legacy waste, that does not change the fact that most of the rotting flesh on its premises is not legacy waste, and has not and is not being properly processed.