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Richardson, Redford join battle against horse slaughter plant

Bill Richardson at CNM in 2008A foundation set up by former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and noted actor and environmentalist Robert Redford formed a group that will help oppose a proposed horse slaughter plant in New Mexico.

Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife joined a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society that would stop the horse slaughter plant from being opened on August 5. It would be the first horse slaughterhouse in the United States in six years.

From the Associated Press:

“Horse slaughter has no place in our culture,” Redford said in a statement. “It is cruel, inhumane, and perpetuates abuse and neglect of these beloved animals.”

A lifelong horse lover, Richardson said he is committed to do “whatever it takes to stop the return of horse slaughterhouses in this country and, in particular, my own state.”

Animal rights activists and others have been opposed to the horse slaughter plant being opened, saying it is cruel and inhumane to horses.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Attorney General Gary King also is seeking to join the lawsuit.

In another development, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit to stop a plant in Roswell from slaughtering horses for meat because federal authorities have not yet undertaken the required environmental review.

According to another AP story, the Humane Society lawsuit alleges that the horse slaughter plant did not undergo the proper environmental reviews before getting a permit to open.

The horse meat would not be for human consumption in the United State, but would rather be sent overseas.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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6 Responses to "Richardson, Redford join battle against horse slaughter plant"

  1. Susan Humphrey says:

    I want to personally thank former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, Robert Redford and HSUS for volunteering to take in the horses that would otherwise be going to slaughter. I’m sure they will have a wonderful life at Mr. Redford’s ranch in Utah. I’m so happy that HSUS is going to put their donation money to a good cause in saving these horses, by purchasing them and helping to feed them. There are only 170,000 US horses per year going to slaughter, and for only an average of $200 each, these horses will live out the remaining years of their lives in the pristine setting of Utah, with it’s endless supply of grass, and will drink from the fresh mountain springs.
    We often don’t know where our donation money is going to. I’m really happy it will be going to such a worthwhile cause! Make sure all donations you wish to go to helping these poor, neglected and abused horses goes directly to purchase these horses from the kill buyers! Only by earmarking donations for the this purchase will the money go there! It might, instead, go for political reasons and won’t really help the horses at all!

    1. morgansinkc says:

      Horse slaughter is a highly expensive proposition for taxpayers.

      Each plant will cost taxpayers $400,000.00, according to this press release, for inspections. This issue crosses all party lines. Voters and politicians from all sides of the isle are against horse slaughter for a laundry list of reasons.

      Here is the press release:

      This is the worst economy since the Great Depression. In addition to the cost of the USDA inspecting plants, at a price tag of $400,000.00 per plant to U.S. taxpayers, the meat will not even be eaten in the U.S. Why should we, as American taxpayers, pay for these inspections?

      Additionally, we have to factor in the taxpayer expense of police officers who will likely be taking more reports on horse theft and making more investigations into horse theft.

    2. morgansinkc says:

      I am also against the USDA opening up inspections for the proposed horse slaughter plants in the United States because horses in the U.S. are not raised for human consumption. As a grower of corn, wheat and soybeans, having the USDA inspect horse slaughter plants concerns me as well.

      Horses are our friends and companions (at least they are my friends and companions), and as such they are treated with drugs like cats and dogs to a wide variety of vaccinations, bacterins, topical and oral treatments that are not approved for human consumption. We use gloves with topical treatments, because we don’t want equine drugs touching our skin, let alone consuming them.

      It’s not economical to raise horses for slaughter in the U.S., because it takes more money to raise a foal to maturity than the horse meat market is willing to pay. It’s an economical losing proposition. Therefore, the USDA has no business inspecting a horse slaughter plant that by default will be receiving horses that are not fit for human consumption. The horses they will be receiving have not been raised drug-free for human consumption.

      As a grower of corn, wheat and soybeans, the USDA’s reputation directly affects many. The European Union, which is where most of the horse meat would go, has a zero tolerance for Bute (Phenylbutazone) , which is routinely given to horses in the U.S. It is estimated that 90% of horses in the U.S. have been treated with this drug, not to mention all of the other drugs.

      There is no good way to test for all of these drugs on every horse destined for slaughter, which would need to be done, since they are not raised for human consumption in the U.S. Many tests would need to be run on each horse, and there is no way to do this in a timely fashion, especially given that the tests have to be run after the horse is dead, and that autopsies need to be performed within 24 hours. University testing facilities are not normally open for testing on the weekends, and it takes time to transport the dead body parts for testing.

      Most of the horses destined for slaughter are young or middle-aged, and in the prime of their lives. Two that have been rescued from slaughter have gone on and are now showing at the Morgan Grand National level.

      Here is information on what New Jersey has done regarding horse slaughter in the hopes that readers will take note:

      “The law prohibits anyone from knowingly slaughtering or selling a horse for human consumption.”

  2. JanWindsong says:

    This is very good news. As we can tell from the facetitious tone of Susan Humphrey’s post, those who seek to slaughter and eat horses do so from the stance of a criminal, speaking a lie as if it were the truth. Perhaps Ms. Humphrey would like to volunteer her time at a slaughterhouse and that way the horses will be sure to survive the kill chute…

  3. morgansinkc says:

    Thank you!

    Here is information on the SAFE act (Safeguard American Food Exports) that is in both the House and Senate with identical wording, and links where you can take action to stop horse slaughter. This will not only prevent horse slaughter in the U.S., but make it illegal to transport horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter:

    Here is great information on horse slaughter and gives people a way to do something about it by taking action. This is not an endorsement of AWI.

    Here is more information on the SAFE act and ways to take action:

  4. morgansinkc says:

    If you haven’t already signed, here are a few petitions that take just a few minutes:

    Ban Horse Slaughter in the U.S.:

    Stop Horse Slaughter Factory in Missouri:

    Boycott Valley Meat Company:

    SAFE act petition: