Judge delays ruling in AG's suit vs. horse slaughterhouse

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Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014 7:00 pm

Rick De Los Santos, the businessman who for two years has been trying to open a horse-slaughter plant in New Mexico, will have to wait at least another 10 days for a ruling.

State District Judge Matthew Wilson of Santa Fe heard two hours of arguments Friday before extending a temporary restraining order against De Los Santos’ business, Valley Meat Co.

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  • Karin Hauenstein posted at 7:47 pm on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    Horseback America Posts: 4

    Your statement shows your total ignorance. You are representing that captive-bred horses in the U.S. are breeding indiscriminately like feral dogs and cats. Surely, you are aware that there are less than 33,000 American Wild Mustangs left in the wild. So, where do you get your information? Commercial horse slaughter cannot be achieved humanely. Captive-bolt use on horses has a 40-100% fail rate in adhering to Humane Slaughter Act mandates, depending upon the experience of the horse. You insinuate that commercial horse slaughter is an answer to those who want rid of wild, problem or feral horses. This could not be farther from correct. Humane chemical euthanasia is, and has always been, the answer to the need to put down any horse. It costs less than one month's board and care, including disposal. Pro-commercial horse slaughter interests really want to breed horses in the U.S. specifically for human consumption, like cattle are today. I don't see this happening at all because this rogue industry is plagued with complications, adrenaline and tainted meat.

  • Karin Hauenstein posted at 7:37 pm on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    Horseback America Posts: 4

    In addition to having multiple USDA and environmental violations for inhumane treatment of cattle and illegal waste disposal, this De Los Santos of Valley Meats knows nothing about commercial horse slaughter. He was duped into retooling his facility with inadequate tools to perform the slaughter of horses humanely, since this is impossible. In addition, he modified his pneumatic captive bolt gun without the sanction or authorization of the manufacturer to use a captive bolt of 8 inches long. According to the laws of physics, this mechanical alteration will result in even more carnage due to malfunction and failure. The USDA is inspecting his facility just as they do for cattle, they are not taking into account the ineffective stunning of horses with this device. Valley Meats is not qualified nor are they able to slaughter horses humanely because this is impossible to do in a commercial environment with machines. So many are ignorant of the facts, including the press and so many uninformed members of the public.

    These pro-commercial horse slaughter idiots were counting on this small, inhumane "industry" to squeak by officials and the public because of general apathy. They have no legal grounds to conduct commercial horse slaughter on U.S. soil. It is extremely inhumane, violates current Federal Law and produces a product that is carcinogenic and harmful for regular human consumption. Essentially, all the problems experienced by the beef industry with ineffective stunning are significantly amplified in horse slaughter. It's bad meat and

  • Karin Hauenstein posted at 7:33 pm on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    Horseback America Posts: 4

    Horse slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia!

    With the captive-bolt, which was developed for use on cattle, stunning is ineffective over 40% of the time when applied to domestic, trained horses (the ones full of prohibited drugs and medications.) This is due to the fact that horses' heads cannot be restrained as cattle are and accuracy is very difficult. Horses will routinely break their own necks if restrained. The captive-bolt is ineffective at stunning wild, untrained or under-trained horses nearly 100% of the time. Everyone who knows horses and has any experience at all with wild horses knows that it is near impossible to get anywhere near their poll which is a very vulnerable area to every horse. To get near a wild horse's poll with a captive-bolt apparatus and have an accurate shot is technically, practically and virtually impossible. This is the reason why we find so much carcass evidence documentation of severe abuse to slaughtered horses. The captive-bolt process itself is so ineffective that many horses are shot multiple times or vivisected while conscious. This is a definite violation of the Humane Slaughter Act which mandates slaughtered animals to be rendered "senseless with one (1) shot."

  • Nancie McCormish posted at 1:19 pm on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    SilverSpruce Posts: 3

    Mr. Simonich, this is pretty shallow reporting. Where will the potentially hazardous waste be dumped on leaving this plant, in the desert someplace? Treatment plants?

    I've read how businesses have planned to haul "produced water" from fracking into area waste water treatment plants - until the plants learned of this and halted those schemes immediately! The haul drivers were required to have HAZMAT certifications to haul this "water."

    Treatment plants are not generally designed to handle large amounts of potentially biohazardous wastes. In fact, only a few carcasses out of 100 would be tested at all (per USDA) for a handful of compounds, and there is usually no medical history known about horses purchased in random lots for kill. Feedlotting animals for a few months wouldn't eliminate many known toxins or biological pathogens which aren't tested for. Even under existing laws, USDA inspections evidently cost taxpayers approx. $400k per plant--to produce for foreign markets, not domestic.

    Would you please dig a little deeper and provide the public a better idea of what the plan and potential hazards are, or aren't?

    Slaughter creates further demand, which can only lead to further unethical breeding practices producing disposable horses. To create systemic change we must reduce, not increase, the supply. Yet as supply decreases, thefts increase to keep any existing slaughter plants operating, even at low profit margins.

    Slaughter of non-food animals for foreign trade at taxpayer expense is a short term, few job, low profit, low wage solution, not a viable business model in a civilized society.

  • Vickery Eckhoff posted at 5:36 am on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    veckhoff Posts: 1

    Congress defunding of inspections didn't close a single plant; state bans in TX and IL accomplished that, closing the last three plants (Cavel in DeKalb, IL; Beltex and Dallas Crown in Fort Worth and Kaufman) in the U.S. in 2007. What Congress defunding of inspections did do is prevent other plants from opening from that point forward.

    Important point! Please correct in future coverage.

  • Shane Destry posted at 1:03 pm on Sat, Jan 4, 2014.

    Shane Posts: 3

    more pro horse slaughter fringe group hypocrisy based on a discredited GAO report about "unwanted " horses suddenly surging in the United States ! Simple logic would show you Sheila Short that there is no causal relation between the closing of U.S. horse slaughter plants (the states themselves shut them down, not animal rights groups !) and an alleged undocumented rise in cases of abandoned or abused horses. Why would the absence of nearby horse slaughter plants suddenly lead to a rise in horse owners being morally irresponsible or abusive to their horses ? That is absurd, like supposing that Jekyll turns into Hyde out of economic hardship ! Kill buyers of horses and junk breeders continuing to overbreed are those pushing for the resumption of horse slaughter in the U.S. Why ? less cost of diesel fuel in driving overcrowded horse transports to Roswell rather than to Mexico or Canada that's why. These criminal associates of yours Sheila are always motivated by what will maximize profit and therefore suffering of horses .. It is irrelevant whether you classify horses as livestock or companion animals. The FDA classifies them as a non food animal for a good reason: they contain drug residues with no expiration date like Bute already banned as cancer-causing in animals raised for food, which horses are not ! You have no idea of how many unwanted abandoned horses exist because they exist only in your own profit-tainted mind !

  • Shelia Short posted at 11:36 am on Sat, Jan 4, 2014.

    Mellony Posts: 1

    In 2012, 33.0 million head of cattle, 113.2 million head of hogs and 2.18 million head of sheep/lambs were commercially slaughtered in the US. Yet, the anti-slaughter advocates profess that the slaughtering of 100 thousand horses a year on US soil would bring about the destruction of Western civilization. Between 110,000 - 170,000 horses have been shipped to Canada and Mexico each and every year since the closing of the US slaughter facilities. The closing of these processing plants coupled with the downed economy has led to a depression of the horse industry and to the neglect and abandonment of animals. We have no idea how many thousands of unwanted horses have been turned out on public lands, abandoned, euthanized or simply been turned in the back pasture and allowed to die. People are trying to get rid of animals that they can no longer afford to feed & cannot even give away. To ignore these numbers and facts show a lack of understanding as to the harsh reality of the current and future situation that horses and horse owners are facing, neither does it consider that there will always be horses that become unusable because of lameness, poor disposition or age. Horses are livestock and the option of humane processing is a practical method to deal with unwanted surplus animals.

  • Shane Destry posted at 11:13 am on Sat, Jan 4, 2014.

    Shane Posts: 3

    this is the usual pro horse slaughter hypocrisy about their concern for horses' suffering as if the only "solution" was the Final Solution of being ripped apart by hooks on the slaughter line while still alive and conscious ! It is false that there is
    some explosion of horse population in the U.S. and ludicrous to assert that "we can't kill them fast enough to keep up with their births" ! Do you imagine we don't know the difference between horses and rabbits in annual rate of birth ? The solution to any real or alleged "unwanted" horses is to stop kill buyers at auction from outbidding people who would give horses good homes. Kill buyers are a criminal element destined to die out with the abolition of horse slaughter. The solution to transport of horses to slaughter anywhere is to encourage your Senators to support the SAFE act SR541 .

  • Shane Destry posted at 10:13 am on Sat, Jan 4, 2014.

    Shane Posts: 3

    Someone should begin a movement to disbar A.Blair Dunn from practicing from sheer incompetence -although those fighting to protect New Mexico from the environmental and economic disaster of beginning horse slaughter in Roswell are certainly glad Dunn is incompetent ! Dunn hauls in political motivation before a judge who is sworn to weigh the case on the merits of law not political motivation which is irrelevant. Attorney General Gary King, and his counsel, who understand this, could have easily brought in the highly relevant fact of what Dunn's own political motivation is in light of his father's running for an office ripe with conflict of interest ! The judge's ruling is a victory for the rule of law over $$$
    and for democracy over corporate rule by a profiteering few who will be now scrutinized indeed for "unfair business practices." If Americans were allowed to vote directly on the issue of horse slaughter, it would be overwhelmingly defeated !
    It destroyed the communities in which it was forced upon by foreign corporations and that is why you will not see Kaufman Texas or DeKalb Illinois lobbying for its return ! Americans do not slaughter their horses, cats or dogs for sale abroad as food. It is alien to our culture and economically ruinous. There is no market for horse meat here or abroad due to its adulteration (tainting) by chemicals as well as toxoplasmosis which Attorney General Gary King is rightly pointing out !

  • Lynn Montgomery posted at 10:05 am on Sat, Jan 4, 2014.

    nature lover Posts: 4

    "In 2012, about 158,000 horses from the United States were transported to Mexico and Canada, mostly to slaughterhouses."
    There will be more this year, and more the next. The horses reproduce faster than they can be exported. True compassion often entails making hard choices. It also means getting beyond egos and political ambitions in order to do the logical, decent, and compassionate thing. Being concerned about some false perception of "image" is simply being selfish. These horses are going to suffer. Suffer horribly. Does anyone really care about them?

  • Lisa LeBlanc posted at 12:22 am on Sat, Jan 4, 2014.

    Lisa Le Blanc Posts: 1

    I think, when the wishes of the people of New Mexico are being blatantly ignored, it's within the AG's purview to represent them, to discover whatever legal means of redress exist to protect and serve those people. If it's to shore up AG King's political aspirations, well, that's just gravy.
    NO ONE wants horse slaughter in their backyard. De Los Santos has a lawyer representing HIS interests. It's only right New Mexico's lawyer looks out for it's citizens.
    I agree with Sue Carter. Dunn and De Los Santos get quite enough press; it's just that nobody opposed to horse slaughter really cares what their issues might be. Every day delayed for this house of horrors is a victory for New Mexicans, and for the horses.

  • Sue Carter posted at 11:06 pm on Fri, Jan 3, 2014.

    susan carter Posts: 13

    Dunn said, Dunn said, Dunn said, DeLos Santos said.... is this all that Milan Simonich hears? Is there no concern for the New Mexican citizens who will be affected by tainte meat and fouled water? Is all that concerns this reporter? A few dead-end jobs at a small, dank slaughter house? Is this as far as Simonich can see? Please, we the people of new Mexico do not want horsemeat even named in the same sentence with New Mexico or Santa Fe. Please, give us the facts on adulterated meat and horse slaughter cruelty. We have heard enough of Dunn said, Dunn said, Dunn said...


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