Horse News

CBS Lays Egg on Horse Slaughter Report

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Network Highlights Embattled Butcher and Misses Outstanding Infractions

CBS This Morning” highlighted the alleged “plight” of a rural New Mexico slaughterhouse owner who wants to capitalize on butchering companion horses while ignoring and sweeping under the carpet outstanding the USDA suspension of inspectors for cruelty violations.

Click (HERE) to download USDA document

Rick de los Santos speaks to CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker who never asks about his current inhumane and abuse allegations from the USDA

In a televised broadcast, this day, CBS centered a three minute clip on one Ricardo De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meats in Roswell, NM and his alleged “struggle” to bring “outsourced” slaughtering of American horses back to the U.S. and to save his business from total collapse.

Click (HERE) to read text of broadcast

As is the way with most mainstream media CBS failed to include the fact that Santo’s slaughter plant was shut down in February, by the USDA, due to the inhumane manner in which he and his staff handled animals intended for slaughter.  Likewise CBS used inaccurate and leading statements such as:

“Over a hundred thousand of these animals are already rounded up every year and slaughtered across the border…barely making a dent in the U.S. horse overpopulation problem. Domesticated horses are abandoned and wild horses simply left to breed unchecked.”

Such statements are unsubstantiated and false to the core.  There is no noted overpopulation problem with the exception of the major breeding conglomerates such as the AQHA, APA, the racing industry and the BLM has all but eradicated the few remaining wild horses and burros from their rightful land in ten western states.  To make such broad sweeping comments while showing a known and documented animal abuser somberly walking amongst his kill pen, hooks and chains (not to mention kissing his wife) is unconscionable.

CBS owes a direct and immediate apology to the 80% of the American public who denounce and object to the concept of horse slaughter being brought back to the United States while the network reassess it’s practice of propagating pity about a documented abuser who deserves nothing less than scorn and shame for the atrocities that he has already committed.

Uptick: the show’s hosts were appalled at the prospect of horse slaughter.

43 replies »

  1. I wonder how long it will take for CBS to apologize and make corrections on this story. I wonder who brought this obscure, disgusting group to their attention. Obsurd story, CBS really dropped the ball on this one. I hope they have been contacted. I’m going to let them know what I think.


  2. I hate to bring this up, but there was also a news report on one of the Casper, Wyoming TV stations that said dear ole Sue Wallis and her organization is attempting to open a slaughter facility for horses in the town of Riverton, Wyo. This is the first time I have heard a report coming from her about doing this in Wyoming since she was outed at trying a while ago to do one in Cheyenne. The report stated that this new one was connected to her doing the same in Missouri and somewhere else which we know they were outed there by the people of that part of the world. I can only hope there is enough resistance here to put her down again.


    • Actually the article said she was looking for investors that’s a little different then Dinky when he said they already bought the property in Oregon. Glad to see her trying to put this in her state but I think it is just more smoke and mirrors. She is probably trying to distract us for NM or somewhere else. I never trust anything she says. Too bad the people in her distict, who aren’t relatives, haven’t found out what she is really up to while claiming to be doing the peoples business.


    • I’ve already sent the newspaper who published this story, The Ranger, PO Box 993, Riverton WY 82501, a nasty letter as well as a copy of the letter from the Mountain Grove MO atty to the atty for the pro-slaughter people in MO stating they would open themselves up to lawsuits for misrepresentation to potential investors by their lies and half-truths. Let the editor at the
      Ranger know what you think of Wallis! Also please comment to CBS This Morning about the bad information given in their story. The only shining light to this story was the comments by the 3 commentators at the end who seemed to understand how wrong horse slaughter is.


  3. De Los Santos is so off the mark. He is greedy, blood thirsty and doesn’t care what he does to make a buck. He has been cited and shut down and he still tries to make himself sound like Saint De Los Santos. Who is going to work in his factory. Not Americans who are 80% against horse slaughter. He’ll
    hire illegals from across the border or Felons on Parole who believe they can’t get a good job anywhere else or are just as cruel as he is. Thank you to the News Team for echoing the anti slaughter communities sentiments. De Los Santos…Go to hell.


  4. I saw this the other day. Boggles the mind doesn’t it? Why cant this pond scum lady raise bison for slaughter. For more legal and would cause less bad PR for. Perhaps she thrives on all this negativity. Any attention is better than none.

    I’m still trying to figure out why she won’t attempt to open a slaughter plant in her home district?


    • I don’t think Wyoming wants to have horse slaughter open there. On her campaign site, the nefarious Wyoming Representative asks voters to help her stop the governor and some of his people from passing a law to banning the ownership of animals by multiple people (perhaps horses for slaughter and breeding for slaughter, i. e. investors in her slaughter plant). She wrote a real diatribe about how the governor had no right to violate her private property rights. I think she is pushing the edge, but that is what she has been hired to do. It was hard to make sense of it, so I’m not sure if this is the correct interpretation or not. What a princess!

      I don’t know if bison has the appeal in France, Belgium, Japan, China, Russia or any of the foreign countries that want to be able to eat our horse meat.

      Heck, we could have just fed U. S. horse meat to Sadaam Hussein and Osama Bin-Laden and saved a lot of U.S. lives and our economy. We could have sent them a few old race horses with the most notorious trainers and filled them full of toxic meat. They might have lived a few years, but probably not the 10 we’ve been at war. Or maybe we could just feed a few select former employees of the U. S. tax payer some of the horse meat they so desperately want to feed everyone else.

      Wonder why one of them has said to a group of the others, “We’re not telling you that you have to eat horse meat…” Of course not. Unless the leader is someone like Jim Jones in Guyana, the leader doesn’t tell his followers to drink the poisoned Kool-aide.


  5. The CBS website with the article doesn’t have any place to comment — does anyone know how I could do that? I would like to let them know that I won’t be watching their so-called “news” anymore, nor patronizing their advertisers, if this is the kind of shoddy journalism they practice.


    • I just sent an email to their, CBS Good Morning email address on the site under contact us. ( I googled CBS GOOD MORNING or use the link above).You can also try contacting Gayle King and the other anchors as they all found horse slaughter disgusting. Gayle especially seemed quite disturbed. If on facebook you can contact them that way.


    • Hmmm…so the same source that got this aired managed to get the text published without a comment section, so the truth could not come out…

      I just hope you all understand that none of this is chance. I give credit to the hosts who voiced their take on this in different ways.

      Charlie Rose is a thoughtful, intellectual—don’t know if any of you ever watch his book channel interviews with authors he has done, but he has a probing mind. Erica Hill is sharp as a tack, and can cut to the chase in the blink of the eye. I watched Gayle King from time to time when I caught Oprah, and her work has always been intelligent, heart-felt, and filled with perspective. This may be one of the strongest teams doing TV news with the balance of their strengths.



    I found this site to leave a message for CBS – and believe me, I LEFT THEM A MESSAGE! I was polite and factual and requested an on-air apology for giving the public sensationalistic boloney instead of researched and scientific facts – and sent them the link for Mayor Paula Bacon’s open letter about what it is like to have a slaughter house in YOUR neighborhood and suggested they contact her for an interview.


    • Thanks for making the link available, Janna. You can be sure I’ll provide “feedback”. If they want to do a story, why not give “all” the facts?! Noooo,. that’s not what they do. )-:


  7. Really disgusting that CBS is so irresponsible on their reporting. Hopefully they will be inundated with angry anti-slaughter folks who will force them to not only apologize, but will also prompt them to do some in-depth investigating and reporting on the real story of how its really a case of “follow the money”. If they do that, they will find that it is not an issue of over population and it is NOT the backyard horse owners and/or breeders who are sending their horses to the kill sales and slaughter. It IS the mass production breeders who individually can easily produce well over 100 foals annually, they keep the ones with potential and dump the rest for FreE at the kill sales. They do the same thing with their old and/or phased-out breeding stock too. If they in fact had to pay for humane euthanasia and disposal of the horses bodies instead of having a FREE disposal system in place at the kill sales, then they would STOP the breeding for quantity over quality and would self-police rather than spend the thousands upon thousands of dollars it would cost for humane euthanasia and body disposal.
    We also probably see less wreckage of young horses that are often started as long yearlings/early 2 year olds to get them ready to be competitive in the high $$$2 and 3 year old futurities in racing, reining, cutting, reined cow horse, pre-green hunters, etc. Once again, if there was not a FREE disposal system in place in the form of horse slaughter, these losers would straighten-up because they are all about saving and/or making money.
    We all know this has nothing to do with these monsters that ship horses loving the horses,caring about their plight, etc–it IS and always has been about MONEY for them, and this free ride crap needs to stop. All of us anti-slaughter folks also know its not the skinny, old horses that go to slaughter–they in fact are rejected at the slaughterhouse usually–it is in fact the younger to middle age horses in good weight who are inhumanely killed at the slaughterhouses. In this case and since 80% of the American public is against horse slaughter, its past time for the majority to rule over the minority of callous, conscienceless jerks that are only interested in their wallets and pocketbooks.


    • p.s.

      CBS didn’t discuss that responsible equine owners euth humanely ( no HCHS) and that the meat is unqualified by virtue of birth and handling for humans to eat.

      Here’s a question…if de la santos is so peechy keen dude………….why isn’t he slaughtering cattle, goats, pigs???????????

      Most you ag people don’t get it (that question), but I do.

      And the Mexican and Canuck munching machine roles on.

      We do have to give CBS for featuring the segment…regardless.


      • Ooops…most you ….”non-ag” people don’t get that Santos ain’t slaughtering….PERIOD!


  8. I just shot an email off to CBS and indicated that they need to report the whole truth about horse slaughter. Sorry about the guy’s business, but he needs to look to retraining and not slaughtering horses. I think that CBS is going to receive a lot of comments. Probably from the Dregs waiting for the chambers of horros to open. I certainly gave them numerous people to contact..Now lets see what they do..I also asked them why they never did a story about the plight of the poor wild horses and burros. Now lets see what they do…


  9. Don’t like CBS. Charlie Rose, Gayle King, et. al., just don’t know why the ranchers are against all those over populated wild horses in Nevada either. It’s deeply disappointing.

    Thanks to Grandma Gregg for the links to CBS, and for everyone’s comments. I’m writing them for sure.


  10. The lack of facts was appalling . As for feeling sorry for that scum he’ll get no sympathy from me. All he wants is more blood money in his greedy hands. Thanks for copmment links.


  11. Poor De los Santos, he only wants to slaughter horses, yet the mean, wealthy and powerful people who love horses can scream louder than only his small voice in the hills of NM. Mr. De Los Santos, you wont be screaming alone, all the horses you will slaughter will be screaming round the clock, as you slowly prepare them for butchering. He is such an incredible liar,there are many groups that are both powerful and wealthy that are instigating the re-establishment of horse slaughter in the US.
    The person at CBS doing the interviewing was really off the mark. Apparently De los Santos has violations not pertaining only to sludge but actual cruelty violations on his record. Where was any mention of any of that in CBS’ story? Are they trying to influence people by not revealing the true issues and whole story here?
    The story seeks to place the issue in the light of jobs reform and jobs availability, alluding to elections. So wrong and disingenuous. This is not a story about providing a few jobs in NM people. If he wants to have a business choose something not associated with torture of horses, there are plenty of opportunities to have a business and be a jobs provider. But that is not his real goal, his real goal is to make big money re-routing horses from the Mexican slaughterhouses to his. What an incredible pig, both he and his wife. PIGS.


    • The omission of the animal cruelty charge is a MAJOR journalistic blunder, and if I were the reporter whose name was attached to this story I’d be very embarrassed. There was a time not too long ago when every piece of a story that was supposed to be factual was fact checked twice. This is truly a case where the story becomes dishonest because the implication is that the reason that this poor man is having to wait to get his permit is because the state is dragging its feet.

      I know some anti-horse slaughter people are put out with Temple Grandin, but she writes over and over again about her frustration about designing systems that are more humane, training animal handlers, supervisors, etc., is that she returns a year after training the humans, she finds they have reverted back to their old ways of handling animals. That is why she recommends that all slaughter houses have video cameras to document worker behavior 24/7. Not surprisingly, the nefarious Wyoming Representative is against having cameras in horse slaughter houses. Guess she doesn’t want Congress to see how they have been manipulated and deceived by a master con-man into spending U. S. tax dollars to fund “inspectors” for the benefit of the foreign meat industry.

      If we could just export the people who want to slaughter U. S. horses to Belgium, France, China, Russia, or Japan (Japan would probably send them back as the Japanese demand a high standard of personal honor in their society) rather than our horses, it would be a much better situation for our horses and for the American people.


  12. That CBS article was so full of mis-information–I don’t know where to begin! To Denise–I totally agree and get it–Why isn’t he operating a slaughter house for cattle etc? There ‘s livestock out there to “process”. Yeah–talk about disposal/compost…. Well thanks (no thanks) Pres. Obama for opening this can with your auto-pen. I am seriously worried about why the 80% of Americans against horse-slaughter have not been interviewed/taped/put on a discussion panels/recognized—-the article did show some protestors. Doesn’t 80% mean Something? OK –I’ve gotta go comment to CBS and sign more petitions–and send a letter to Obama. Wonder if he ever reflects on this issue?? Naaah…… he just keeps asking for donations…. my extra dollars do not go to political coffers–that’s a waste… They are not in touch with this 80%.


  13. Mr. de Los Santos. You cannot humanely slaughter cattle. Did you mention that. I must have missed it. You are not looking out for your employees or you would of done a better job in the first place. You want a fat wallet. I found the interview pathetic and it angered me. You will be stopped and I have no pity and it was not the economy to blame. It’s only you to blame for your cruelty. Tough luck buttercup!!


  14. CBS This Morning is also on Facebook, there seems to be a thread going about this have not had the time to read it all yet, 66 odd comments on there so far, go get em!!!


  15. Shame on CBS…at least the anchors have it right. Who did De Los Sanots pay to get his pathetic
    sob story on the air? Check out the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition’s website for excellent reporting on Canadian slaughter houses that comply with regulations and standards…


  16. All your comments are right on. I just left a few words on the fb page. In the morning will do the same at CBS website.
    I could just scream when ‘they’ don’t get it right in their reporting!!


  17. Charlie Stenholm, Sue Wallis, Ken Salazar, and cohorts may cause more Americans to become vegans than any so called “Animal Rights” group very could. From the unacceptable level of special interest money and lobbyists attempting to drown out the voices of the people, gross mismanagement of public lands for the benefit of the meat industry (yes, you betcha). If ranchers can’t sell wild horses to horse slaughter plants, they will find another way. Like roaches who survive by eating the glue on stamps and the sleep in people’s eyes, these guys don’t give up. They just get another bill passed, or a regulation added, or create conservation districts to get around the county-state-federal structure our laws follow. Or they will figure out how to manipulate NEPA so that essentially people at the county level can essentially over-ride a federal law.

    Now we have federal law, state law, and county law with county law over-riding federal law. When they lost on state’s rights vs. federal rights in the Supreme Court, they figured how to get around federal law another way.

    The reason taxpayers are paying $500 per wild horse per year is so that ranchers can pay no more than $15.00 to $16.00 per cow/calf combination per year. So for every horse that the BLM removes, we tax-payers are paying $485.00 for that rancher to earn $2.00 or more per pound on the calf. A 500 lb. calf would bring that rancher $1,000.00 in today’s market for which the rancher has invested $15.00. This is better than mining gold right now. When you add what we pay for land refurbishment for ranchers ($125-135 million—grazing fees only cover about $17 million) as well as predator control which costs ???? Not to mention all the subsidies and tax breaks they receive as an agriculture producer. Farmers who lease private land in other parts of the country pay a lot more to lease land, and if a coyote steals a calf, a baby goat or a lamb, people do normal things like buying a donkey that brays.

    So if Congress should happen to decide that the millions of dollars it is spending to feed our wild horses is optional, we need to remind them that they have been in charge of BLMi’s Wild Horse and Burro management program, and it is they who failed to provide proper oversight. It is Congress (the Senate and you know who) who failed to pass ROAM when it was being debated in 2009. The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the Public Lands Council has managed to steal the land designated for these horses with the full cooperation of the Department of Interior and a Congress wiling to look the other way. Get the ranchers off the land and put the horses back on it, and we can get rid of that 75 to 80 million we’re spending to feed wild horses and burros. We could cut a few billion more by cutting incompetent, corrupt government agencies and the professional bureaucrats that do not work for their employer.

    The Department of Interior does not own the public lands or the wild horses. Yet, they were created to manage both for the mutual benefit of the other. Interior and particularly the Secretary were given the trust of the people to manage both, but what have they done with our trust? Nothing but make a mockery out of the idea that government can only work with the consent of the governed while at the same time devastating both the public ranges and our beloved American wild horses.


  18. Just had a thought, looking at the picture that RT posted above, does anyone else see the similarity of the facial features of Rick de los Santos and Bill Whitaker right down to the hairline??? Worth repeating that there is also a thread on facebook on the CBS This Morning site going for comments, lots of good comments there already!!


  19. !st, Thank You again for the keeping us well informed. They insist on slaughter, but, it still covering up the fact that they are not safe for human consumption. If they are not safe for humans how can they be safe at all. That don’t matter to anyone as long as they can kill them off and make their money.


  20. Poor little de los santos. They are such victims aren’t they? Gag me. What irresponsible reporting!
    The comments at the end by the news folks were good though. Thanks!


  21. Go to to sign the petition to the New Mexico congressmen to support S.B 1176/H.R.2966 To help end horse slaughter and the transportation of horses To Mexico and Canada for slaughter


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