Legal horse slaughter in the U.S. made its last stand at 3845 Cedarvale Road, six miles southeast of Roswell, NM. USA Beef Packing has returned to the once-controversial location to open the state’s only beef-packing plant.

The opening came with a ribbon-cutting and a warm embrace from New Mexico  Gov. Susana Martinez. John Mulcahy, president of the local Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp., hailed USA Beef for making $5.4 million in upgrades at the former Valley Meat Co. and for bringing 57 new jobs to the area.

Gov. Martinez support for USA Beef’s move into New Mexico included $400,000 from
Continue Reading USA Beef earns permit that stymied horse slaughter in NM

The West is full of monuments from Tucson to Mountain Meadows of famous shoot-outs and massacres that usually brought nothing more that pyrrhic victories for one side. On that basis, it’s time to erect another of those roadside plaques at the site of the former Valley Meat Co. outside of Roswell, NM. It’s the location where horse slaughter in the U.S. made it’s last stand. After 2011, when President Obama and Congress lifted the 2007 prohibition on USDA expenditures to inspect horse slaughter, five mostly small town companies tried to get U.S. equine packing businesses up and running. None made
Continue Reading Another search for elusive answers in Roswell, NM

After day-long testimony very similar to last October’s hearing examiner proceedings for a state ground water discharge permit, a state judge said Monday that he would issue an order Friday on whether to lift a temporary restraining order and allow Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, NM, to start slaughtering horses. Meanwhile, New Mexico State District Court Judge Matthew Wilson continued his temporary restraining order against Valley Meat’s startup of processing horsemeat for export under USDA inspection. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is using a civil lawsuit in an attempt to block Valley Meat from becoming the first USDA-inspected horse
Continue Reading New Mexico Judge to Decide Friday Whether to Continue TRO on Horse Slaughter

A year-end attempt by New Mexico Attorney General Gary King to quickly prevent a Roswell slaughterhouse from processing USDA-inspected horsemeat for export has apparently failed. It means a New Mexico business could be still be slaughtering horses as early as Jan. 1. King, a Democrat who is also running for governor, held a Dec. 19 news conference to announce he was seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Valley Meat Co. in Roswell “from killing and butchering horses for food.” But, a week later, on Dec. 26, New Mexico court records show the only real action that has occurred in
Continue Reading NM Attorney General's Horse Case is Slow Off The Line

Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, MO, was to have begun processing horsemeat for export today, but instead finds itself added to a temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge in New Mexico. This means USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) must “suspend or withhold the provision of horse meat inspection services to Rains Natural Meats until Oct. 4, 2013.” FSIS is enjoined from “dispatching inspectors to the horse slaughterhouse facility operated by Rains” until further order by the court. Rains joins Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, NM, and Responsible Transportation of Sigourney, IA, as would-be horse slaughterhouses now
Continue Reading Third Horse-Slaughter Company Added to Restraining Order

Animal welfare plaintiffs challenging in federal court USDA’s inspection of two horsemeat packing businesses will have to post a bond of almost $500,000 to have their case proceed in the short term. A federal magistrate in Albuquerque set the amount on Thursday after hearing from the parties in the case, including Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, NM, and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, IA. USDA has agreed to inspect those two companies if they begin to slaughter horses for human consumption in other countries. A federal restraining order currently prevents the two companies from starting operations and, if the plaintiffs post
Continue Reading Hearing to Stop Horse Slaughter to Cost Plaintiffs Almost $500,000

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday granted permission for a former New Mexico beef slaughterhouse to convert its facility into one meant to slaughter horses, the Associated Press reported. Despite the permit, however, plant operations won’t begin until the federal government allows inspection, a move that is currently up in the air. Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., will become the first U.S. facility permitted to process horse meat since Congress banned the practice in 2006. The USDA may grant similar permission to plants in Iowa and Missouri as early as sometime this week. But before horse slaughter
Continue Reading USDA Approves New Mexico Horse Slaughter Plant

USDA officials had no issues leaving behind a recommendation for an immediate grant of inspection from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) after visiting Valley Meat Co., located near Roswell, NM Tuesday, its attorney says. If true, this would mean Valley Meat Co. would be the first USDA-inspected horse slaughterhouse to commence operation since 2007 in the United States. For five years, there was a ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption in the U.S. Rick De Los Santos, who owns Valley Meat Co. along with his wife, Sarah, told the New York Times that USDA sent him a
Continue Reading USDA-Inspected Horse Slaughter: About to Start in NM?

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is expected to sign House Bill 1999, which will bring an end to the state’s 50-year ban on slaughtering horses. The bill passed the Oklahoma Senate on a 32-14 vote on Tuesday after being approved 82-14 in the House a month earlier. HB 1999 is now on the Governor’s desk for the routine legal and policy review conducted prior to signing. “One important fact that the public may be unaware of: Oklahoma horses are already being slaughtered, ” said Aaron Cooper, the Governor’s spokesman. ” They are simply being shipped out of the country to Mexico
Continue Reading Oklahoma to Eliminate Ban on Horse Slaughter