Monday, April 22, 2013

HSUS intends to sue feds on Roswell horse processing plant, AG Gary King gets involved

Many will recall the de Los Santos family in Roswell has applied to USDA to operate a horse slaughtering facility.

As a result of foot dragging by USDA and threatened lawsuits, the family has hired attorney A. Blair Dunn.

The HSUS has filed a notice of intent to sue...over the Endangered Species Act!

Below is some interesting reading for your Monday morning.  First up is a slightly edited email from Dunn about the notice and the potential threat to all facets of the livestock industry.  That is followed by an email exchange between Dunn and NM AG Gary King, and the King press release that precipitated the exchange.

Fwd: Valley Meat: HSUS' Notice of Intention to Sue Under the Endangered Species Act
Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:41:41 -0600
A. Blair Dunn, Esq. 
Sarah De Los Santos 

This is a new twist.  We were figuring on a NEPA suit.  This will happen after the grant of inspection is issued and I have spoken to DOJ about it.  They (DOJ) will get an additional 60 days to answer the complaint but the grant of inspection should be coming and they anticipate it will be issued in the next several days.  I anticipate that this new ESA case will have to be brought in New Mexico.

The NEPA issue may be going by the wayside.  Apparently USDA OGC has drafted a memo concerning the fact that slaughter facilities fit within the categorical exclusion for FSIS.

So as expected HSUS is planning to spend some bucks on lawyers to try to shut this down.

The biggest problem on this is the collateral damage could destroy the dairies and other agriculture all around.   Think about it this way, if the very minor (if any) environmental impact of Valley is going to trigger consultation with US FWS and poses a environmental threat to endangered species then what about dairies, what about farming in general, feedlots, etc.:

"The horse slaughtering process produces by-products and waste products that are a threat to the environment and to wildlife in the vicinity of the slaughter facility. Horse slaughtering produces the following: (1) manure, contents of rumen and intestines; (2) edible products, including offal and blood; (3) inedible products such as hair, bones, and feathers; (4) fat; and (5) large volumes of wastewater. Most slaughterhouse processes require the use of water, and the pollutants contained in wastewater can impact the environment when the wastewater runoff enters into groundwater, streams, and rivers. Horse slaughtering also requires large amounts of hot water and steam for sterilizing and cleaning. Generating the energy for heating water emits gasses, which contribute to air pollution."

If there was any question as to whether or not HSUS has all of animal agriculture in its sights this should dispel that. 

Valley Meat is located near South Spring River, Pecos River, Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge, and Bottomless Lakes State Park. Threatened and endangered species are found within the vicinity of Valley Meat, and their continued existence may be jeopardized by the horse slaughtering activities. Valley Meat's operations may also adversely affect or destroy the habitats of the threatened and endangered species. Affected species may include, but are not limited to, the Pecos bluntnose shiner, the Least tern, the Pecos Assiminea snail, Koster's springsnail, Roswell springsnail (collectively "snails"), and Noel's Amphipod.

Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2013 4:40 PM
To: King, Gary
Subject: Re: Threatening Valley Meat with Special Treatment

Are you in fact devoting a attorney to work on finding wrong doing by my client so that you may pursue legal remedies against my clients in an attempt to prevent them their lawful business? (As you are quoted as saying in the Alamo Daily News)  I fail to see how I am making unfounded allegations.

Also what science do you have that supports the slanderous statement that horse meat fits the definition of adulterated food? (Where did you get your information, HSUS perhaps? Are you aware that they have a large financial stake by virtue of a exclusive marketing stake in PZP the horse contraceptive?) Have you given thought to what those kinds of statements may mean for other industries beyond the horse industry, say for instance the dairy industry?

I think you may be very wrong about the "many people" part of the ag industry supporting this position by you.  But I am happy to help you take a poll at the midsummer meeting of the Cattle Growers.  I know for a fact they are on the opposite of this issue from you. 

This is unsolicited political advice from a member of another long time political family, but aligning yourself with HSUS and APNM will cost you more rural votes than you can spare.  People are already very angry about the ESA ruse now being trotted out by HSUS.

I respectfully offer that if you truly want to keep rural New Mexico on your side that you reconsider your position.

A. Blair Dunn, Esquire
6605 Uptown Blvd. NE, Ste. 280
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110

On 4:11pm, April 18, 2013, King, Gary wrote:
Thanks for your input.  I believe it is my responsibility to make sure that the laws of New Mexico are enforced.  That is what I expressed in my press release.  It is indeed my personal opinion that slaughter of horses for human consumption is an ill founded concept.  I am sure that this opinion is shared by many people in New Mexico who are part of the agricultural industry as well.  I know you are representing your clients to the best of your ability, but making unfounded allegations against my office because we are carrying out our duties does not forward your clients' interest in any meaningful way.  That being said, I am concerned about your information about threats made against your clients and I will forward this email string to my chief investigator and ask him to see if we can be of assistance to local law enforcement to deter any possible violence that may occur in relation to your clients' decision to move forward with their decision to slaughter horses for human consumption.  GK

On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 2:34 PM, A. Blair Dunn, Esq. <> wrote:
General King,

After we spoke last summer, I was led to understand that you understood agriculture's perspective on this issue.  This press release, however, belays that your office is acting as nothing more than a mouth piece for animal rights activist groups.  I find it extremely disappointing that a candidate for Governor can find nothing more important to devote staff to than harassing a small lawful family business.  Perhaps a review of AG's office priorities is in order.   General King you as much as any person should understand that the real animal welfare stewards are those of us involved in agriculture.  Perhaps you should listen when groups such as the NMCGA talk about how they feel that this plant is actually better for the welfare of the land and the horses themselves.   Perhaps your office should be investigating the threats "to come and shoot" my client in the head and to "slit his wife's throat."  They are New Mexico citizens and they deserve your protection, not your harassment.


AG: Is Horse Meat a Threat to Health in NM?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CONTACT:  Phil Sisneros  505-222-9174 or  Lynn Southard  505-222-9048

(SANTA FE)---Attorney General Gary King today expressed grave concerns over the potential health risks associated with consumption of horse meat processed at the proposed horse slaughtering plant in Roswell.

“As Attorney General, I have specific authority to enforce New Mexico food safety laws that are applicable to such a facility in our state,” said Attorney General King.

New Mexico has had laws on its books for more than seven decades protecting our citizens from Adulterated Food. Scientific studies show that horse meat fits the legal definition of an adulterated food product due to the presence of many chemical substances routinely used on horses that are deemed unfit for human consumption.  

“Recent occurrences of food mislabeling and horse meat contamination have been widely reported in Europe,” adds AG King. “The European Union will ban the import of horse meat from North America effective July 1, 2013.”

The AG says experience in Europe shows that there is no foolproof way to be certain that horse meat will not enter the human food chain here in New Mexico.  

Should the horse slaughtering plant be given the green light to open by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the AG’s office will closely monitor health and safety practices at the facility.  

“I will vigorously pursue all legal remedies available to me if we discover any violations of New Mexico food safety laws,” AG King promised.


Anonymous said...

If one removes the horse slaughter terminology and replaces it with gay rights or gun rights terminology, these these exchanges reflect other current civil rights issues. They all boil down to one's freedom being impinged. The freedom owed to all Americans by birthrite or naturalization are being railed against by our own narrow-minded citizenship. Freedom to run a useful business, marry who you want, or even protect one's self is under constant attack and we must stay vigilent against the short sighted forces that do so. -Beau Fannon

drjohn said...

The suit by HSUS is full of errors. First off the horse does not have a rumen nor feathers as stated in the suit. The horse has a cecum which is the main point of digestion. All of the blood from the horse can be saved, dehydrated and used as fertilizer. The manure and ingesta can be saved and composted with no odor if done correctly. The statement that horses are full of antibiotics, noninflammatory meds and other substances is without proof. The statements by the AG is goofy and fits into what the governor of NM thinks, thanks to HSUS. The water used by Valley goes into a settling pond not the city sewer and who has ever seen the snails they want to protect.

Jo-Claire said...

Wrong, no one will buy horse blood because of the medications. Lagoons will not work with horse blood because the antibiotics in the blood kill the bacteria needed to break down the particles. Horses also have 69% more blood volume than cattle.

Look up Kaufman TX, Caveln DeKalb IL
..see what those plants did to the towns.

Bute is the most prescribed substance by veterinarians for horses. In a poll taken by 85% of the horse owners stated they had given their horses bute.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Blair Dunn is threatening G.King with votes and what ever else, threats in the way he is coming across, unreal... CORRUPT all of them are just thinking about the money NOT what they are really doing..... Boy oh BOY the US of A has come a long way hs it not!?!? SAD