Slaughter tools. Google image.

New Mexico meat company sues feds claiming inaction and delays in horse slaughter plant opening

Associated Press Report


Slaughter tools. Google image.
Slaughter tools. Google image.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A New Mexico meat company that wants to resume domestic horse slaughter for food is suing the federal government, alleging inaction on its application was driven by emotional political debates and has cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Valley Meat Co. is seeking to force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to resume inspections necessary to open what would be the nation’s first new horse slaughterhouse in more than five years.

The company and its owner, Rick de los Santos, have also sued the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, and Animal Protection of New Mexico, accusing the organizations of defamation during a yearlong dispute that has reignited debate over the humane treatment of horses and how best to control the nation’s exploding equine population.

Perhaps the most divisive question is whether the noble, iconic animals that played a key role in the settling of much of America are livestock or pets.

The USDA declined comment this week on the pending litigation. The agency has until January to respond to the suit filed in federal court in late October.

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Although horses are mostly companion, service and sporting animals, they are commonly categorized as livestock to give owners tax breaks and the reason any movement to establish them as “pets” is met with resistance. — Ed.

9 thoughts on “New Mexico meat company sues feds claiming inaction and delays in horse slaughter plant opening”

  1. VGFarrel, You have that right, this guy will be up against the Humane Society lawyers and he don’t stand a chance in court.When the judge finds out about his past he might as well save his money or whomever is bankrolling him and sneak out the back door of the courthouse.


  2. This crook was going bankrupt because of the slaughter cattle business drying up. But he had a number of complaints against him because of inhumane slaughter of cattle that shut his slaughter plant down I believe it was the USDA inspectors that closed him down. But he was closed up. There was also trouble about him not paying cattlemen for the cattle that he slaughtered for them I believe that was part of the mess he was in also writing bad checks. What he’s trying to do is using this lawsuit as a quick fix for his own financial and greedy stupidity.


      1. I AGREE, BARBARA & VG. I don’t think it will even get to court. If the USDA can document past bad deeds, I believe that the whole thing will be thrown out.. Federal Court is not a good place “to Play”.


  3. ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE: Please realize that these delays have been intentional from a directive from the President’s Administration to move slowly on this. Some of us have been bashing the President while he waits for the congress to correct the damage that they did to the horse world by way of the Ag appropriations bill and Senators Kohl and Blunt and Congressman Jack Kingston in a backroom committee. That new bill is awaiting action…Just heard today that milk could go to 6-8 dollars per gallon. Please petition the congress to pass the Ag appropriations bill with the Moran Amendment intact. And appreciate what the President has done to protect horses in the way that was available to him.


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