Friday, May 25, 2012

NM Slaughterhouse owner defends plan to butcher horses - video

(CBS News) Wild horses that roam America's prairies are the very heartbeat of the old west. While some see majesty in their freedom, others see profit. Not in what horses bring to wranglers and ranchers, but to slaughterhouses for their meat. Rick de los Santos of Roswell, New Mexico has spent tens of thousands of dollars to retrofit his slaughterhouse hoping to become the first meat plant since 2007 to butcher horses and export their meat. The tough economy took its toll on de los Santos. He and his wife Sarah run this family business together. They've lost more than $200,000 over the past two years. But they saw a new opportunity. Upon the recommendation of its accountability office, Congress reversed a five-year-old ban on American horse slaughter, agreeing it had made conditions worse for the animals. Many of them were trucked over the border to Mexico for slaughter under horrible conditions as documented by the Humane Society. "So, these horses are going into Mexico to be slaughtered there," de los Santos said. "And all we want is to take care of 'em here." De los Santos applied for a license and began to retrofit his plant to meet the new USDA requirements. He was delighted to learn his would be the first American slaughterhouse cleared to sell horsemeat to Mexico, Belgium and a host of other countries where it is considered a delicacy. Now relief has turned to frustration. "It's cost us about $75,000, that's what it's cost us, just to get ready to slaughter horses," de los Santos said. "It's sitting idle." Believing he's fulfilled the USDA requirements, he's been anxious to get his final government inspection and license. But it's been nearly four expensive months of waiting for the USDA to pay a visit. "It's very frustrating for when, when you send your paperwork to the USDA and get it back, and we get, "It's incomplete.'" De Los Santos thinks the delay is deliberate since he's become a focal point in the anti-horse slaughter movement. A bill has been introduced on Capitol Hill to ban horse slaughter for good. And even the governor of New Mexico released a statement about his business, saying "...creating a slaughterhouse in New Mexico is wrong."...more

Here's the CBS report, an objective report on the issue...until the three in-studio anchors add their comments.

1 comment:

Drjohn said...

Following the weak presentation by CBS with the use of folks running the rescues and no comments from horse people that have had their industry wrecked because of congress and it's ignorance the onslught by the anti horse slaughter people continue unabated with their millions of dollars and lawyers that you can't see the end of the line with an eastern PhD tossed in for good measure. The people that understand the problem and how to rectify it continues. It is amazing that a few days before Rick and Sarah were going to get back in business the rules were changed to detect bute, which is seldom used any more, and the half life in a horse is 7.5 hours. As I understand it the ruling came from the denver office of FSIS with no warning or previous announcment to Rick or Sarah. It is my feeling that the director of this office was bought off by HSUS and the EWA and other such people such as the new mexico governor. Let me assure the fight continues.