Gary King filed suit against the Roswell company asking for a temporary restraining order to keep the plant from opening. “I took this action because horse slaughter presents a genuine risk to New Mexicans’ health and to our natural resources,” said King.
A federal appeals court removed a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter last week, clearing the way for companies in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa to open while an appeal of a lawsuit by animal protection groups proceeds.
King mentions the company’s thousands of violations over the years, when it processed cattle, which he states poses a risk to the state’s resources. “Valley Meat Company’s record of violating the state’s laws regarding food, water quality, and unfair business practices, poses serious dangers to public health and safety, to the natural environment, and to the public’s use and enjoyment of public resources, namely groundwater and land.”
Valley Meat requested a state permit that is required before it can discharge wastewater, but has now stated publicly that it will begin operating on January 1, 2014, whether or not it receives the permit.
King also reiterated horses in the U.S. are not raised to enter the food chain, and are administered scores of drugs making the product unsafe for consumers. “… I concluded earlier this year that horse meat would likely constitute an ‘adulterated’ product under the New Mexico Food Act, and therefore would be prohibited.”
King states environmental laws are on the books to protect precious natural resources, especially ground water. “Companies that willfully ignore those laws need to be held to account before they cause serious damage to public health or our environment,” King said.
Horses have not been slaughtered on U.S. soil since 2007.