Posted: 3.02.13
The Roswell Horse Slaughter Facility Permit May Be Approved
Contact USDA and sign our petition for solutions, not slaughter, for horses
  Sign the New Mexicans Against Horse Slaughter petition!

Add your name to the thousands of New Mexicans that honor the role of horses, donkeys, and mules in our unique heritage. Please sign the New Mexicans Against Horse Slaughter petition and share it with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

"A horse slaughtering plant in Roswell is a terrible idea"

-NM Attorney General Gary King

Apparently, bad ideas die hard. This week, almost a year since Valley Meat Company of Roswell applied to open the first horse slaughter facility in the U.S. in over five years, the New York Times reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering approval of the facility’s request.

This news comes despite widespread state and national outcry last year, including denouncements of horse slaughter from a bipartisan group of New Mexico elected officials. Governor Susana Martinez, Attorney General King, State Land Commissioner Ray Powell, and then-Rep. Martin Heinrich all voiced strong opposition to a New Mexico horse slaughter facility.

In the meantime, the Equine Protection Fund — a crucial component of the growing New Mexican safety net for horses, donkeys, and mules — has expanded its support programs to help the needy animals that might otherwise have been abandoned to the slaughter pipeline. This past week, the Equine Fund marked its 350th equine relieved of suffering through feed assistance, veterinary care, or humane euthanasia. These kinds of programs must be promoted and further expanded, rather than New Mexico regressing to a cruel and outdated slaughter model.

Your voice is urgently needed to help stop a horse slaughter facility from opening in our state, or any state. Please contact Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack immediately with your opposition to a horse slaughter facility in New Mexico. 

Messages in your own words are best, but feel free to refer to the following sample for ideas:


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

Please direct USDA to deny the permit for a horse slaughter facility in Roswell, New Mexico. For years our state has served as a gruesome funnel for horses going to slaughter in Mexico. New Mexicans reject horse slaughter, regardless of where it is done, because it is inherently cruel.

In the midst of drought and economic difficulty, New Mexicans have rallied around humane solutions for horses, including an emergency feed assistance program, subsidized gelding program, and a humane euthanasia program.

I understand about 160,000 U.S. horses/year are sent to slaughter --- only about 1% of the total population of U.S. horses. This is a number that we can do something about. With less breeding and more support for basic infrastructure to support horses, similar to what is in place for homeless dogs and cats, America's beloved horses could be provided with basic compassion and decency, which they deserve.

Further, I understand that the applicant for the Roswell license violated USDA’s humane handling laws and N.M. environmental laws when they were operating as a cattle slaughterhouse. 

Thank you for not permitting the Roswell plant when there are so many ethical, financial, and pragmatic reasons not to slaughter horses.

 

RELATED LINKS

NBC: Horse meat in the US? Unlikely, but tests are rare

CNN: Battle over blame after horse meat found in beef products

The Telegraph: Horse meat scandal: cancer causing horse drug has entered food chain, minister announces

New York Times: Advocates Concerned by Shipment of Horse Meat Through U.S. Ports