New Mexico’s Valley Meat Co. is appealing a state fine of $86,400 for improper disposal of composted cattle remains.
Valley Meat gained notoriety earlier this year when it applied to USDA for equine inspection services to open a horse slaughter facility for export at its closed beef plant near Roswell, NM.
The New Mexico Environment Department issued a compliance order Aug 2, citing Valley Meat for failure to register as a compositing facility for property located near the slaughterhouse, and for failing to properly dispose of solid waste.
Valley Meat received the order and notice about the fine by e-mail on Aug. 14. Company attorney A. Blair Dunn said Valley Meat would file an appeal and request a hearing by state officials.
New Mexico’s order came after a 2 year stand off over Valley Meat’s failure to move a 400 ton pile of composted cattle remains because a local landfill could not receive the waste due to state restrictions.
As for registering the site, Dunn says the state lost two previous applications and then took the position that the third one was not filed in a timely manner.
After President Obama and Congress last year lifted a 5 year ban on horse slaughter inspection, Valley Meats filed an application that is still pending for equine inspection services at the closed facility it had once used for beef.
Horse slaughter opponents sought to discredit Valley Meats in its application for equine inspections by using the two-year-old problem with the pile of dead cows at the Roswell plant.
An inspector for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service had first questioned the 15-foot pile of rotting cow flesh in January 2010.
Valley may resume beef operations while it waits for action on its request for equine inspection services.© Food Safety News