Valley Meat Company was Applying to be the First American Horse Slaughterhouse Operation
Roswell, New Mexico, August 14 — Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) discovered that Valley Meat Company was applying to be the first American horse slaughterhouse operation earlier this year, and it immediately jumped into action. Working with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other groups including Animal Protection of New Mexico, FRER embarked on a detailed investigation of Valley Meat, and turned up a years-long series of violations of New Mexico environmental laws, which involved, among other things, a mountain of dead animals rotting on Valley Meat’s property. The fifteen-foot high pile of dead animals created a health hazard for the community and placed into serious question the operator’s ability to start up his new operation, slaughtering former American companion, work, and competition horses to be turned into foreign dinners. FRER presented extensive documentation to the state Environmental Board, urging the state to take a careful look at Valley Meat’s operation.
FRER and its partners are committed to preventing the inhumane and unsafe production of horse meat to ever start again in America, and to eventually stop the slaughter of American horses for meat everywhere. FRER and HSUS also filed legal petitions with two federal agencies, demonstrating the dangerous nature of horse slaughter to horses the environment, along with the dangers of horse meat consumption by humans. The groups urged the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration, to engage in extended consideration of the problems inherent in horse slaughter by any group, including one with as many red flags as Valley Meat.
Apparently, the groups’ efforts have been a success. In an article today, Valley Meat’s lawyer stated that the company was “suspending any plans for the horse-slaughter plant,” because “it doesn’t look like anybody is going to get a grant of inspection for horse slaughter.” A clear victory has been won for the horses who would have been brutally killed if this plant opened.
“We are glad to have been a part of the team that stopped Valley Meat, which was anxious to take American horses and turn them into a toxic dinner, and which was at the center of environmental and animal cruelty violations,” said Hilary Wood, president of FRER. “Every time the horse slaughter industry has attempted to set up shop, it has made clear that it has no concern for the public, for the law, or for the horses. FRER will continue, along with its partners, to challenge anyone who tries to start killing America’s for foreign (or domestic) food.”
- More than 100,000 American horses are sent to slaughter each year, mainly for consumption in Europe and Asia.
- The slaughter pipeline is horribly cruel, with many of the horses suffering immensely during transport and the misguided and often repeated attempts to render them unconscious. USDA has documented the abuse and misery horses suffered at slaughterhouses in the U.S.
- Virtually all the horses used for meat spend most of their lives as work, competition or sport horses, companion animals, or wild horses.
- During their lives, horses who end up at slaughter are given a constant regimen of drugs and other substances which are either illegal for food animals, or are potentially dangerous to people who eat them.
- Under the current rules and regulations, there is no safeguard in place that can protect against the consumption of unsafe toxins in horse meat.
- Consumers do not know of the inherent dangers because there is no control over the drug residues.