Horse Slaughter, Horse Welfare A Victim of Legal Maneuvering

by Burt  Rutherford  in BEEF Editors’ Blog

A surprise ruling by a New Mexico judge means horse slaughter can resume in the U.S. But animal rights activists will continue to inflict harm on horses with their legal meddling.

In a move that surprised just about everyone who has been following the long and sad controversy over horse slaughter, U.S. District Judge Christine Armijo in Albuquerque Nov. 1 dismissed a lawsuit by the Humane Society of the U.S (HSUS) and other animal terrorist groups designed to uphold the nation’s inability to humanely and effectively deal with an overpopulation of horses and other equines.

The HSUS lawsuit alleged that that USDA failed to conduct proper environmental studies when it issued permits to Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, NM and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, IA to resume horse slaughter.

The reason the ruling to throw out the suit came as a surprise is because the same judge earlier this year issued a temporary restraining order that effectively kept the plants dark, even though they could have resumed operations.

The surprise, however, didn’t last long. Not surprisingly, HSUS and the state of New Mexico immediately filed an appeal in the 10thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Three days after Judge Armijo threw HSUS out of court, the Appeals panel in Denver welcomed them back with open arms. The appeals court instituted an emergency injunction requested by HSUS, effectively shutting everything down again.

And that’s unfortunate, because America’s horses deserve better than the inhumane treatment they’ve received at the hands of HSUS.

While horse slaughter in the U.S. has been at a standstill for many years, horse slaughter in Mexico and Canada continues. So HSUS and its minions haven’t stopped horse slaughter, and they most certainly haven’t helped horses.

Without a way of humanely dealing with unwanted horses, abuse was sure to happen. And it has. When horse slaughter in the U.S. was shut down, the horse market fell apart, particularly for just plain ‘ol horses. And predictably, without any salvage value and expensive upkeep, horse abuse cases shot up. The stories of abuse, of unwanted horses hauled out to the country and abandoned, were numerous and heartbreaking.

The horse is a noble creature and it deserves our respect. Unlike those who oppose horse slaughter, however, I think we show respect for horses not by allowing them to starve to death, but by having the infrastructure in place to humanely end their lives under the supervision of USDA inspectors and veterinarians.

Whether or not horse slaughter in the U.S. resumes in the next week still remains to be seen, as there are other issues at play. The regulatory issues largely revolve around wastewater permits for the two plants. But for the plant owners and their employees, the regulatory hassles may be the lesser of their problems.

According to the Associated Press, Rick de los Santos, owner of Valley Meats in Roswell, is hiring security as he prepares to bring his plant back into operation. Over the past two years, he and his wife have received numerous death threats, AP reports, and last summer, there was a suspicious fire at the plant.

It’s truly unfortunate that the de los Santos have to fear for their lives, but it shows just how out of control the debate, and some of those who oppose horse slaughter, have become.

It’s time for those who oppose horse slaughter to come to their senses, lay down their swords (literally and figuratively) and do what’s best for the horses they claim to love. In the end, if they won’t, it’s the lawyers who get fat and the horses that will continue to suffer the most.

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19 Responses to Horse Slaughter, Horse Welfare A Victim of Legal Maneuvering

  1. Pingback: Yummmmmmy; Horse meat! | Sunset Daily

  2. Sunset Daily has missed the point completely.


  3. Marilyn Wilson says:

    How will you end horse slaughter, do you have a plan or will my grandchildren be paying for over-breeders?


  4. What all of you “heartbroken” spittle chins are forgetting is that horses are property. I will do with my property whatever I choose and intentionally abusing it is simply not good economics.


  5. Ted Maines says:

    It is interesting that folks who eat beef, pork and chicken have an issue with eating horse. I understand the “companion issues”. I have milk cows who are pets and we have steers for food. We name our breeders (pets) with names (Miss Pansy, Sir Arthur, Sir Galahad, Miss Violet) but we name our eating steers beefsteak, sirloin, CR (Chuck Roast). We have horses that we ride and use on the Ranch (yes my pets) but there are other wild herd horses that need to be culled. Proper processing of horse (like buffalo) can be done. It is more a mindset IMHO. Note: There are ethnic groups that do eat dog when they get a chance.

    I am freedom believing person , having fought to help keep this country free. Bad enforcement of humane rules for some people does not constitute another law to prohibit all people from going things right. Example, because some people kill people with automobiles does not mean we prohibit all automobile.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pat Maas says:

    I’m with Ted and Jimmy, Having worked livestock/ horse auctions and a meat plant know the importance of humane knocking. There has been problems in the past with proper processing of knocked horses (they do need to be dead 1st time around), and with growing awareness this should have been addressed already. If not, let the voices challenging things bring that change.

    Nonetheless, the need for humane horse butchering is still present and is not going away. If you want to bitch about something, talk with your neighbor breeding cheap horses. Or find ways to help racetrack rejects and retirees. Or help/volunteer at one of the many horse/donkey/mule rescues, many are over whelmed at this point and need all the help they can get.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan says:

    I really don’t understand all of the “Horse Lovers”, When did horses become equal to humans? Go into your own cupboard, or look at the keyboard you are typing on tell me if I says made in China… How many of true die hards are boycotting made in China products? The Chinese eat anything: Horses, Dogs, cats, anything. The Chinese government oppresses their citizenry, why are you not doing anything for another human, but you elevate an animal above a human. Travel to Europe Horse meat is abundant and available at the local markets and restaurants. Horses are another protein source. Native Americans included horse meat in their diet. I myself use horses in my cattle operation in the great basin region. Once my saddle horse is no longer a qualified useful tool, he then goes on someones menu. The Almighty God Creator of the Universe and All Living things said it best – “Get up, Peter Kill and eat…” Take note heathens…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right on Dan. The “companion animal” people have a dual (and inconsistent) set of values (what my old mama used to call “two faced”). They want to “save” the wild horses (which are not native to the continent) but are usually enviro-wackos who want to annihilate “exotics” and other “weedy species” (as in Elk, Aoudad sheep and wild hogs in West Texas).


  8. Sorry folks, but this is out of control. Or, I should say, one particular person is out of control. Therefore, as moderator (and owner of this little chunk of cyberspace), I am shutting down the comments section. Any further comments along these lines will be marked as spam or trashed. I refuse to allow my web site to be a vehicle for communist propaganda.

    If this has proven anything to me, these PETA types are a vile, cruel bunch of less than humans.


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