Posted December 23, 2013
New Mexico’s attorney general, Gary King, filed a lawsuit on Thursday, to block a horse slaughter facility from opening in the coming weeks, according to an article by the Associated Press available here.
Horse slaughter in the U.S. has been an ongoing issue in the courts, with animal welfare groups filing lawsuits to stop plants from opening. Recently, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an emergency injunction blocking the plants from opening, then lifted the order last week, saying the groups “failed to meet their burden for an injunction pending appeal.”
Owner of Valley Meat Co., Rick De Los Santos, had planned to open the facility on January 1. Valley Meat’s attorney, Blair Dunn, said the lawsuit was frivolous and a waste of tax payer money.
King defended the lawsuit, “saying Valley Meat stands to violate state laws related to food safety, water quality and unfair business practices.”
Reuters reports herethat the lawsuit argues that Valley Meat has a history of violating state and environmental rules. The lawsuit further argues that since “many horses are administered scores of drugs while alive, their meat is likely adulterated, unsuitable for human consumption and in violation of state food safety laws.”
Horse meat is typically not consumed as food in the United States, but Valley Meat intends to sell it for feed for U.S. zoo animals and for human consumption in Europe, China, and Japan.
For more information on animal welfare, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.