Fire at Valley Meat Co.

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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ROSWELL, NM – Valley Meat Co. might have been the target of arsonists. The owner of the Roswell, NM-based company has been trying to convert the former beef-processing facility to a horse-slaughtering plant.

A fire on July 27 damaged a refrigeration unit and burned the facility's exterior. Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire, but Chaves County officials called the blaze "very suspicious." Speaking to The Associated Press, owner Rick De Los Santos said someone jumped a fence on the property and poured an accelerant over the compressors to his refrigeration unit. De Los Santos said he planned to open the facility for horse slaughter on Aug. 5.

Efforts to block horse slaughter in the United States have been ongoing since Congress lifted a ban on funding horse meat inspections. But the US Department of Agriculture issued grants of inspection to Valley Meat and Sigourney, Iowa-based Responsible Transportation LLC. The agency is expected to grant similar approval to a facility in Missouri.

In response, animal-rights groups sued USDA to prevent the agency from conducting horse meat inspections. The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, Marin Humane Society, Horses for Life Foundation, Return to Freedom and five private individuals filed the lawsuit under the National Environmental Protection Act.
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READER COMMENTS (12)

By dave 8/9/2013 4:38:59 PM
By the way how have the EU people lived all these years eating these toxic horses. They must live in caves only us smart american horse lovers know the answers.

By Dave 8/9/2013 4:33:39 PM
Only the hard working tax paying people should decide if the want to support taking care of the horses it cost them multimillions in tax dollars every year not meat eaters not horse lovers but the ones who foot the bill should decide.

By Terra Pennington 8/6/2013 10:53:16 PM
Their doors will never open if they are looking to sale to the EU countries. 27 which will not take American breed horses due to toxic drugs. My fear is this toxic me will be pan off on the American people without us knowing it. The lust of money can end up killing us all.

By Terra Pennington 7/31/2013 4:14:45 PM
The European Union is in the process of banning all American breed horses from being excepted at horse slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada due to toxic drugs. Now just when they pull the plug is not known but they did a test run last year that send the Pro-slaughter groups crying with fear because they no longer had a dumping ground for their unwanted horses. How Sue Wallis has sat up a marketing survey to see if there is a market for horse meat in the USA not caring if the meat has toxic drug residue in it that are harmful if consumed by humans and other animals such as zoo animals, cats and dogs. As for the fire I would say it was a inside job that didn't work like they had hope in filing a insurance claim and a reason to not be able to open the doors at all. I mean it if burns down Valley Meat may not want to invest that insurance money back into another slaughter house.

By Jay McKillop 7/31/2013 2:29:55 PM
Luke Thomas, I don't eat meat of any description. I am not aware of how horses are slaughtered in Mexico but I can assure you Canada does not "go after them with hacksaws." Get your facts straight before making ridiculous claims. For the record, I am completely against horse slaughter.

By JanWindsong 7/31/2013 11:55:28 AM
It is hard to believe that one of the horse advocates did this inasmuch as Mr. deLoSantos has upped his security on the property. More people consider the possibility he is part of a plan to appear injured.

By ramses09 7/31/2013 10:42:22 AM
Hey Luke, NO - I do NOT eat meat. So there goes your silly theory. Maxlynn - THANK YOU for your great info. It's much appreciated.

By Maxlynn 7/31/2013 10:00:35 AM
PS We are working hard to get the SAFE Act passed that would prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes. That means they won't be going anywhere.

By Maxlynn 7/31/2013 9:37:12 AM
What you people don't get is horses are not meat animals. The majority of the America is fighting right now the defeat the despicable King amendment which take away the right of states to enforce even the minimal agricultural standard for farm animals. Not to mention opening the door to slaughter dogs. Yes, we care about the cattle and all animals, too. But consider that horses go into battle with us, work beside us sunup to sunrise, perform in sports at our behest, thrill us in the ring and spend hours with us in recreation and companionship. Now they want us to put little Sally's pony on the table for dinner, Fido is a little plump, too and Muffin has some nice meat on her. Where does it stop? It is sick and inhumane. The man already told you how these horses suffer, not to mention their meat is toxic if they are domesticated, which most of them are. And as to the wild horses? They are protected under Federal law and anyone who slaughters or sells them into slaughter should be prosecuted.

By Curtiss Lukens 7/30/2013 11:06:06 PM
The slaughter of horses simply cannot be made humane: Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector, told Congress in 2008 that the captive bolt used to slaughter horses is simply not effective. Horses, in particular, are very sensitive about anything coming towards their heads and cannot be restrained as required for effective stunning. Dr. Friedlander stated, "These animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected." The Government Accountability Office and dozens of veterinarians and other witnesses have confirmed that ineffective stunning is common and animals are conscious during slaughter. The FDA does not regulate American horsemeat as food because there is no market for it in the U.S. and most importantly, horsemeat is dangerous, if not deadly, for humans to consume. Horses are given all manner of drugs, steroids, de-wormers and ointments throughout their lives. Horses are not tracked and typically may have several owners. A kill buyer has no idea of the veterinary or drug history of a horse taken to slaughter, and many of the most dangerous drugs have no or a very long withdrawal period. A typical drug given routinely to horses like aspirin, Bute, is a carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia in humans. Bute is banned in all food producing animals and there is no withdrawal period. The plants in Mexico and Canada supply meat to Chevideco of Belgium. The plants have to conform to European Union requirements. Even so the procedure is brutal and even most of the documentation of photos and videos were taken in USDA inspected plants. There is no difference in Mx, Can or the USA.

By Luke Thomas 7/30/2013 5:41:35 PM
I bet you most of those people who oppose horse slaughter eat their steak and hot dogs without the slightest thought or tinge of guilt, which were made of slaughtered cows. What's the difference?

By Luke Thomas 7/30/2013 5:39:46 PM
So the animal activists would rather have Mexico or Canada do the slaughtering - where they go after them with hack saws still fully conscious and aware.