FRER: 9 Steps to Solving Horse Slaughter Issue

by Nancy Bailey as published on the Inquisitr

Valley Meat has accumulated more than 5,000 violations of state laws protecting the environment, groundwater, rivers, and other waterways…”

A Roswell, New Mexico, slaughterhouse won’t be bringing any more horses down the pipeline in 2016, thanks to the tireless efforts of Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER). According to World Animal News, FRER spent three years in collaboration with local residents and the state of New Mexico in order to put an end to the slaughter. A court order was issued on February 4 by Judge Francis J. Mathew in Santa Fe.

The Roswell slaughterhouse, called Valley Meat, was originally sued in 2013 by the Attorney General’s office, FRER, and four Roswell residents whose health and quality of life were jeopardized by the business.

Over two decades, Valley Meat has accumulated more than 5,000 violations of state laws protecting the environment, groundwater, rivers, and other waterways. For years, Valley Meat illegally dumped cow carcasses despite repeated requests by state officials to cease and desist and clean up its mess.

Hilary Wood, the president of FRER, said it was a step in the right direction.

“We have been working for years through the courts to stop the illegal, inhumane, and toxic practice of horse slaughter. This is a critical precedent in that effort because prospective horse slaughter operations will not be accepted by this state, and, with the support of other like-minded people, we will fight to ensure that no other American state allows the slaughter of horses for human consumption.”

More than 135,000 American horses are exported for slaughter each year.

The group asserts that for every horse sent to slaughter, the horse industry loses tens of thousands of dollars, considering amounts spent during the average horse’s lifetime.

There is a multitude of ways to cut down on the numbers of unwanted horses, Wood says. These include the following.

  1. Impose breeding regulations and fees on horses used for breeding.
  2. Handle and train all broodmares and foals.
  3. Veterinary offices and veterinary schools should offer discounted gelding services.
  4. Prosecute the abandonment, abuse and neglect of horses.
  5. Ban unsafe horse transport.
  6. Promote retraining programs within the equestrian competition industry.
  7. Develop prison and community service programs, such as Detroit Horse Power, that involve the training of horses.
  8. Develop more equine study programs that bring more people into the horse industry.
  9. Develop programs that provide discounts for humane euthanasia.

Wood said that it’s hard to condense the answers for such a large topic as horse slaughter. The Roswell slaughterhouse is one example of how persistence creates change.

“We’re talking about approximately one percent of the entire horse population, many of them not even intended for slaughter at all. After all, we could put a man on the moon back in 1969 when we didn’t even have answering machines or remote controls. But decades later with all of the advances in technology and other areas, we are incapable of doing better for horses. Makes no sense to me.”



  1. I will mention again since it needs more consideration, that we need a mechanism (tax or a buy-in program, fee on any sales) on horse products to provide burial services in every state for horses humanely put down. Significant numbers of horses end up being sold to slaughter for the few hundred dollars it would cost to bury them.

    What if we paid a few pennies on every feed purchase to be entered into a registry which would create a horse cemetery in every state, and once an appropriate number of credits had been paid in we’d have a guaranteed burial site. Most people don’t have enough land to bury a horse, and for many properties it is illegal.

    If we such a pre-paid humane option available in every state it could make a difference for many and provide better options than most have now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very good ideas – the rescues have those programs, but obviously cant do it all. IF we ever do see an actual end to slaughter – these gelding & euthanasia programs will definitely be needed. I was so very lucky to board at a barn where there was a place for my horse when he was put down – pretty much a cemetery for them. But not all boarding facilities have that option. A few cents extra on a feed purchase? Good idea.


  2. Follow the money.
    I imagine this question has already been researched but there must be some person or organization with big $$$ behind this guy? It is expensive to operate a business even when there is an income but without an income, how can he pay the rent/mortgage/taxes and insurance on the building and pay the utilities and pay for the security and pay an accountant and pay himself a salary/personal expenses etc? And wouldn’t his previous violation have fines and wouldn’t those fines be accruing penalty interest every month and if so have his assets been attached or are they just being ignored by the state/county/city? Something stinks with this … even beyond the stink of slaughter.


    • Good question! Seems it would be worthwhile for someone to research & publicize this subject. Might be a surprising answer.


    • Wallis and her protegee Dave Duquette were behind Ricky Santos bid to start killing horses. Basically, after Wallis’ evil plan to bring Dallas Crown (Chevideco) back in operation in Missouri backfired when (1) the Mt. Grove city council voted it down and (2) Chevideco CEO told her and the city council they were not backing her plan nor would put a single euro-dime of their euro-pockets to fund it, she basically looked for some fool with a dilapidated place to allow her make a purely political point… and she found this guy De los Santos who basically owned a substandard operation that was full of debts and legal woes and convinced him to apply USDA to kill horses for meat even though there was no realistic business plan behind it other than the hot air peddled by Wallis.

      Whether De los Santos actually bought Wallis’ mumbo-jumbo about international sales and growing commercial opportunities (this place is actually smaller than the Dallas Crown or Cavel plants so fat chance he would be ever relevant enough to “project himself” internationally) or if he just planned to sell his stuff in Mexico as beef taking advantage that sourcing horses for slaughter is cheaper than buying fisnished beef cattle (something that is being done in Mexico as you read this), it seems he got some money from a Mexican meat businessman and/or borrowed it from his employees, relatives and friends (a KB called Okubo and that Sappington guy who filmed himself shooting a poor horse and put the video on youtube) that allowed him to do some refurbishment works on the place. It remains open to question however if he also got additional funds through Wallis / Duquette (I’m thinking Forrest Lucas).

      There isn’t however much spending made on this place other than the property taxes. The plant is closed and has been up for sale for over a year. There is no accountant, no rent or morgage to pay AFAIK, no employees, no power being used, no water discharge permit, no activity at all. It is basically dead… and it’s been that way for quite some time. I don’t know either how De los Santos makes a living right now but probably he has other businessess somewhere else. It was essentially a half-assed venture manned by equally half-assed individuals.


  3. I drive by a place nearby that routinely gathers, then fattens horses, and sends them out of the country for slaughter. We need to make it viably possible to humanely euthanize horses here. That would mean the cost must be reasonable for those who cannot pay, and may just let them starve or give them to feedlots. Overpopulation is another huge issue. Looking at these horses, knowing they will soon ship out, is crushing to see.


    • Horse slaughter was never and is not any form of euthanasia. It is just a predatory practice fueled by irresponsible industry practices, outdated moldish minsets, overbreeding and food fraud. Take into account that sourcing horses for slaughter can me at least 50% cheaper than sourving finished beef cattle.

      The first step towards making horse slaughter a thing of the past is removing the economical incentive, that is, the outlet, by passing the SAFE Act.

      It is also wrong to assume that additional euthanasia means are so desperately needed. Most horse owners can afford euthanasia just fine and in emergency, desperate situations a gunshot is way better than slaughter. Horse slaughter exist not because there is a need to dispose off equines but because demand of horsemeat preying on cheap horses and the greed of the breeding industry / registries


  4. While these are EXCELLENT goals, and we should be working toward them, we must realize that slaughter is a predatory industry fueled by the market for horse meat. We need to work on reducing the number of horses produced, but at the same time, if we don’t curb the world’s appetite for horse meat, none of our horses here in the US are safe. Even if no horses went to auction, or the prices increased pushing meat buyers out of the market, they will continue to scam people out of their horses and horse theft will increase as these unscrupulous people will stop at nothing to make a quick buck sending horses to slaughter. We need to educate everyone on the cruelty of horse slaughter and health hazards of horse meat in order to make a lasting impact.


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