Regional
1:39 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

Owner Defends Plan For Horse Slaughterhouse

 

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The owner of a Roswell, N.M., slaughterhouse is defending his plan to become the first plant in the nation since 2007 to handle horses after an outcry from politicians and animal activists.

In interviews with the Roswell Daily Record and the Albuquerque Journal on Friday, Valley Meat Co. owner Rick De Los Santos says he's trying to revive his failing business and that what he proposing is legal.

De Los Santos says the horses he plans to process are being slaughtered anyway in Mexico and his operation would be overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and meet much higher standards.

The company's application for federal inspections triggered an outcry when it became public Friday, with New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez calling on the USDA to deny his application.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.