New Mexico company hits another snag with horse slaughter plant
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
A New Mexico company’s plans to alter a cattle meat plant into a horse slaughter facility are facing another barrier, this time over an environmental dispute.
Valley Meat Co. is accusing the U.S. Department of Agriculture of purposefully changing the rules to make it harder to obtain a license. The company has been in waiting more than a year for approval.
The plant passed its initial inspection late April, but government officials are now considering if the soon-to-be refurbished plant will also require a permit under the federal Clean Water Act, despite the plant not discharging anything into water.
The New Mexico-based company’s application for allowing domestic horse slaughter to return in the United States has ignited a heated debate among ranchers, animal activists and politicians.
The company is questioning permit delays, which Valley Meat Co. believes may be politically motivated, to prevent the slaughterhouse from opening.
Domestic horse slaughter last occurred in 2007, after the Congress forbid financing for the inspection of horsemeat.