As celebrities protest horse slaughter, one permit blocked

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LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL FILE PHOTO

Robert Redford speaks during a Sept. 22, 2004, appearance at the Rainbow Library in Las Vegas. Redford and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Monday joined the fight against a return to domestic horse slaughter. “Horse slaughter has no place in our culture,” Redford said in a statement.

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MARTIN S. FUENTES/REVIEW-JOURNAL

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson speaks during a Sept. 13, 2008, rally at the College of Southern Nevada, Cheyenne campus. Richardson and actor Robert Redford on Monday joined the fight against a return to domestic horse slaughter. Richardson said, “Congress was right to ban the inhumane practice years ago, and it is unfathomable that the federal government is now poised to let it resume.”

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JERRY LARA, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Horse carcasses are cleaned at the Juarez, Mexico municipal slaughterhouse on Sept. 18, 2007. Horses are filling some state-owned livestock pens along the Texas-Mexico border before they head to a grisly slaughter for their meat in Mexico.

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JERI CLAUSING/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Valley Meat Co., which has been sitting idle for more than a year, is scheduled to begin slaughtering horses when it reopens on August 5.

By JERI CLAUSING THE ASSOCIATED PRESS via the Las Vegas Review Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Environment Department on Monday dealt a new blow to a Roswell company’s hard-fought attempts to begin slaughtering horses next month, declining a request to renew Valley Meat Co.’s wastewater discharge permit.

The denial came the same day that actor Robert Redford and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson joined the divisive debate, announcing formation of an animal protection foundation to fight a return to domestic horse slaughter.

The NMED says it won’t renew the permit without a public hearing, noting it has received more than 450 comments against letting the former cattle slaughterhouse open as a horse slaughter plant.

Valley Meat Co. attorney Blair Dunn cried foul, saying the agency was unfairly targeting a small family-owned building.

This is a breaking news update. AP’s original story appears below

Robert Redford and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Monday joined the fight against a return to domestic horse slaughter, announcing the formation of an animal protection foundation to fight the opening of plants in New Mexico and Iowa.

The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife’s first act was to join a federal lawsuit filed by the Humane Society and other groups to block the planned Aug. 5 opening of the first horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. to operate in more than six years.

“Horse slaughter has no place in our culture,” Redford said in a statement. “It is cruel, inhumane, and perpetuates abuse and neglect of these beloved animals.”

A lifelong horse lover, Richardson said he is committed to do “whatever it takes to stop the return of horse slaughterhouses in this country and, in particular, my own state.”

“Congress was right to ban the inhumane practice years ago, and it is unfathomable that the federal government is now poised to let it resume,” he said.

Meat from the slaughterhouses would be shipped to some countries for human consumption and for use as zoo and other animal food.

After more than a year of debate and a lawsuit by Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., the Department of Agriculture in June gave Valley Meat the go-ahead to begin slaughtering horses. Officials said it was legally obligated to issue the permits, even though the Obama administration opposes horse slaughter and is seeking to reinstate a congressional ban that was lifted in 2011.

Another permit was approved a few days later for Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa.

The move has divided horse rescue and animal welfare groups, ranchers, politicians and Indian tribes about what is the most humane way to deal with the country’s horse overpopulation and what rescue groups have said are a rising number of neglected and starving horses as the West deals with persistent drought.

An Aug. 2 hearing is set on the demand by animal protection groups for a temporary restraining order to prevent the plants from opening and becoming the first horse slaughterhouses to operate domestically since 2007.

In addition to its opposition to horse slaughter, Redford and Richardson say, the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife will focus on the preservation and protection of the state’s wild mustang and burro population. Other efforts will focus on the Mexican gray wolf, bison and the reintroduction of native fish and mammal species.

The foundation will also work to support New Mexico’s animal shelters and to prevent animal cruelty.

About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
This entry was posted in Animal Rights, Government Interventionism, Horse Slaughter, Livestock & Meat Markets, Wild Horses and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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