Cross-posted from the Alamogordo Daily News
VIA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Just because there is a market for horse meat in some countries does not mean the U.S. must be their supplier.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A Colorado-based horse advocacy group says a New Mexico company seeking to become the nation’s first slaughterhouse for horses since 2007 should face fines for violating laws on waste disposal.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/J9Fxis) that the state Environment Department received a letter this week from Front Range Equine Rescue calling for fines against Valley Meat Co. The Roswell-area slaughterhouse has hauled 400 tons of composted cattle parts from its property, after two years of prodding by the state Environment Department.
But Front Range Equine Rescue said the company should still be fined for past offenses highlighted by a USDA inspector in January 2010.
Fines can reach $5,000 daily per violation, so Valley Meat could be subject to millions in fines. However, Auralie Ashley-Marx, chief of the Environment Department’s Solid Waste Bureau, said Friday that there are mitigating circumstances, such as the recent removal of the waste and the lack of a market for De Los Santos’ compost.
“This is not a black and white case,” she said. “Sometimes there are limiting factors that are difficult to overcome.” Continue reading >>
Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico
The Associated Press reports:
[Governor Susana] Martinez said Friday she plans to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking it not to approve a Roswell meat company’s request for inspections that would allow it to operate.
Valley Meat Co. has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its 7,300-square-foot plant outside of town.
“Despite the federal government’s decision to legalize horse slaughter for human consumption, I believe creating a horse slaughtering industry in New Mexico is wrong and I am strongly opposed,” Martinez said in a statement.
Prior to this Statement by Governor Martinez, Capitol Report, New Mexico reported:
In the past few weeks two shocking stories concerning horses in New Mexico made headlines.
First, the Albuquerque Journal came out with graphic photos of four starving horses found suffering at a Los Lunas feedlot.
Second, the New York Times ran a blistering exposé of horse racing abuse across the country and pointed at New Mexico as having the worst safety record in the nation, alleging that horses often are drugged to such dangerous levels that they risk breaking down and being destroyed (not to mention the danger to jockeys).
Capitol Report New Mexico caught up with Gov. Susana Martinez earlier this week and asked her about both stories, starting with the Los Lunas incident and then asking the governor about her office calling for a report from the state Racing Commission concerning — among other things — improved drug testing for race horses.
Here’s what she said:
In the case of the emaciated horses in Los Lunas, the state Livestock Board is coming under fire and district attorney Lemuel Martinez is looking into filing criminal charges.
As for the racing commission, its monthly hearing is scheduled for Thursday (April 19).
Capitol News, New Mexico