This time the news from Valley Meat in Roswell, NM, has been low key and specific – after four years of fighting in and out of courts, owner Rick De Los Santos has dropped his attempts to open a horse slaughterhouse, as of August 1. Sporadic news on this contentious issue makes it clear that De Los Santos has withdrawn his waste water discharge permit and “the fight is over.”
De Los Santos and his attorney, A. Blair Dunn, have engaged government agencies, the public, the courts, the locals, the media, animal welfare groups and even politicians in numerous battles to open a horse killing plant. Valley Meat has sued and been sued, and now De Los Santos is spreading the word that he is fading away regarding horse slaughter, or is he playing an entirely new angle? After all, he spent four embattled years attempting to force the horse slaughter for food issue.
He says, according to important source KRQE,
I think it’s just time to stop and see what will happen now.
Dunn has supported De Los Santos’ position through the courts and the Attorney General and often in the media.
The slaughterhouse attorney presented a formal letter to the New Mexico Environmental Department retracting Valley Meat’s waste water discharge application. The letter says, in part, that the indecision by the Secretary “to make a decision has contributed to the destruction of Valley Meat’s lawful business. The slaughterhouse required the permit in order to become operational. According to Dunn, Valley Meat was never granted the permit and was instead strung along for seven months.
De Los Santos says, “They’ve been telling us, ‘Well we need a 30-day extension, we need 45 days, we need 60, we can’t make a decision right now’.” He claims that the Attorney General was very instrumental in the plant’s closure. He threatens to sue the state as a result.
The owner of Valley Meat also admits that the New Mexico Environmental Department did not give him a water discharge permit to slaughter cows either. He alludes to the fact that the department thought me might kill horses, too. Valley Meat claims it has become victimized by the lengthy delays and all the “predatory litigation.”
Neither the Environmental Department nor the Attorney General’s office commented on the matter of Valley Meat’s closing.