Susana Martinez, New Mexico Governor, Asks Federal Officials To Stop Horse Slaughterhouse

From the pages of the Huffington Post GREEN

“Creating a horse slaughtering industry in New Mexico is WRONG!”

Susana Martinez Governor of New Mexico

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said Friday she is asking federal officials not to allow a southeastern New Mexico company to open the nation’s first slaughterhouse for horses since 2007.

Martinez plans to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking it deny a Roswell meat company’s request for inspections that would allow it to operate.

“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.

Valley Meat Co. has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its 7,300-square-foot plant outside of town. Documents obtained by the Humane Society of the United States and Front Range Equine Rescue show that horses would be “custom slaughtered” and processed for human consumption at the plant, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/IlnrcB ).

Valley Meat didn’t immediately returns calls from the Associated Press on Friday.

USDA spokesman Aaron Lavallee said in a statement that there are no facilities approved for horse slaughter in the United States.

“One establishment, located in New Mexico, recently applied for a grant of inspection exclusively for equine and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is reviewing the application,” Lavallee said.

Horse slaughter has effectively been blocked since Congress withheld funds for USDA inspections of horse meat plants in 2006. But a recently passed agriculture bill provides the money.

The last horse slaughterhouse closed in Illinois in 2007. Since Congress renewed inspection funding, several plants are under consideration, including one in Missouri that would process up to 200 animals a day.

More than 100,000 American horses are shipped out of the country to plants in Canada and Mexico for slaughter each year, and their meat is bound for markets in Europe and Asia, according to the Humane Society. Although there are reports of Americans dining on horse meat a recently as the 1940s, the practice is virtually non-existent in this country.

A spokesman for New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said his office so far has found no legal basis for stopping the plant, but a lawyer has been assigned to continue looking into the matter.

“A horse slaughtering plant in Roswell is a terrible idea. Such a practice, while not illegal, is certainly abhorrent to public sentiment, and I strongly suggest it be abandoned,” King, a Democrat, said in a written statement.

“Horses are different and should be treated differently,” he said.

The Humane Society, Front Range Equine Rescue and other groups are pushing the federal government to ban the export of American horses for the foreign meat market and to formally prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States.

“Horse slaughter for food is a national disgrace, given the iconic nature of American horses and the especially brutal methods used to kill them,” Front Range Equine Rescue said in a statement.

Pro-slaughter activists say the horse slaughter ban had unintended consequences, including an increase in neglect and the abandonment of the animals.

Details about the extent of the proposed horse slaughtering operation were unavailable, but the application obtained by the groups says the plant would only handle horses, not cattle or chickens. The plant would operate eight hours a day year-round, according to the application.

Front Range’s lawyer, Bruce Wagman, said Valley Meat first filed an application for USDA inspections in December, and then a second application in March.

The groups said it has obtained email correspondence showing that company representatives have been talking for months to officials from the Denver office of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, which inspects animals and meats in American slaughterhouses.

According to Front Range, one January email from an FSIS official said, “Public wants assurances there is no way for horse meat to get into their beef products.”

The USDA said FSIS regulations prohibit horse slaughter or other preparation of horse products in the same establishment in which cattle, sheep, swine or goats are slaughtered or their products are prepared.

Critics also contend former companion, working, racing and wild horses should not be used as human food because drugs routinely given to such horses are potentially dangerous to people.

Elisabeth Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection of New Mexico, said residents of a state with roots in cowboy culture “have a deep and enduring appreciation for horses, especially given their important role in our state’s rural way of life.”

“It is an affront to our citizens to suggest bringing the cruel, dangerous and polluting enterprise of horse slaughter to New Mexico as we celebrate our state’s centennial,” she said.

13 comments on “Susana Martinez, New Mexico Governor, Asks Federal Officials To Stop Horse Slaughterhouse

  1. Congrats to all who are standing up to stop this abhorrent business from getting a foothold in New Mexico. Now if more Governors of more states did the same then maybe Washington would pull the Anti-Slaughter bill out of committee and act.

  2. I emailed Gov.Martinez last week regarding this and I am so glad that so many other people contacted her as well. I know it made a difference.
    We should all email or write her again to thank her for her stand against horse slaughter.

    • One thing is for certain, she is NO FAN of AssHat $ue Wallis after sending the Gov a letter praising a kill buyer and trying to promote bloody horse slaughter. Wallis is a Gone Pecan!!!

      • R.T.,

        Oh yeah! The Queen of Mean showed her stupidity this time as always. Govs don’t like to be made a fool of do they?

  3. Congrats to Gov. Martinez. Wish we had more politicians that have the guts she has to speak up. If Wallis tries to tangle with her, I believe Gov. Martinez will win. I had also emailed her to speak my opposition to theRoswell plant, now I’ll email her a thank you.

  4. I gotta say, I’m really proud of my Governor – I didn’t vote for her, but she’s changing my mind! I sent her a follow up thank you email full of more information about how slaughter houses ruin communities. I think this is the way to fight these monsters. For more information on this please check out http://www.kaufmanzoning.net This website was started by my relative, Mary Nash who fought against Dallas Crown horse slaughter plant who was her next door neighbor!! This site has TONS of information to use for our fights! Even Horse Slaughter Sue can’t fight against the facts of how these plants have to hire ex-cons and illegal immigrants to work there – they can’t fill the jobs with anyone else. So these communities become havens for many criminal acts! And they also are HUIGE environmental hazards which end up costing tax payers a lot of money!! So be sure to check it out – again, it’s http://www.kaufmanzoning.net

    • Amie,

      You are so right about Dallas Crown. Mary fought a brave fight against it and brought that hellhole to the attention of many people.

      The kind of people who work at those plants are not the kind you would want for your next door neighbor. As we all know, Dallas Crown was the poster child for cruelty, stupidity and greed and was a hell on earth for horses and the people who lived there.

      None of us want to see another Dallas Crown or its like EVER again.

  5. But let’s see if the Feds shove this up New Mexico’s and all US citizens’ and inhabitants’ hinneys….regardless what the Governor says. And don’t forget that we got 49 other states that can institute this blood lust on US equines…..not to mention, many states have a portion of it, in their state as we speak via transport, low end auction, lack of enforcement and transfer/holding/feedlots.

    I am surprised at the Governor’s quote and position; I am pleased. Wish she would go after Chavez’s h*llholes all the same. And DeLosSantos’ problems may be more big Ag shutting down small ops (especially cattle, for control) than HCHS.

  6. Yet another right thinking American citizen against horse slaughter. When, oh, when will they get the message?

  7. No way in Illinois again!!!! I agree if other auctions resemble hell holes, they should be shut down..People need to know that there are other options besides slaughter..We need to keep the equine communities informed thru our local horse clubs. The two clubs I belong to are working with an outreach program for those falling on hardtimes whether it be financial or a health hardship. We all should be doing this to keep some of these great horses out of the slaughter pipeline. If there were no horses to sell or ship, they would be out of business. However, these foreign companies will not give up easy because they know some Americans prefer $$$$$$ to the care and support of our horses and other equines. We need to be emailing and writing them, telling them they are not WANTED IN THIS COUNTRY.!

  8. Let me add to my previous comment….We should be doing this to keep ALL HORSES AND OTHER EQUINES out of the hands of these sick people!

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