Front Range Equine Rescue Exposes Thousands of Environmental Violations by Proposed New Mexico Horse Slaughterhouse; Enters Fight to Protect Missouri From Horse Slaughter Contamination
LARKSPUR, Colo., December 16, 2013 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education, has taken measures to prevent the slaughter of horses for human consumption in both New Mexico and Missouri.
Late last week, FRER filed a 90-page brief in New Mexico explaining that state law mandates Valley Meat in Roswell, N.M. be rejected in its quest to start slaughtering horses for meat.
In a separate action, FRER has intervened in a Missouri proceeding in which a Gallatin, Mo.-based slaughterhouse there is trying to begin slaughtering horse for human consumption, despite clear environmental dangers and likely toxic deposits that would result from the practice.
FRER was the first group to discover that Valley Meat was applying to slaughter American horses, and has since worked to expose the company’s decades-long record of violating environmental and animal welfare requirements. Over the course of two decades, Valley Meat has accumulated more than 5000 violations of state environmental laws designed to protect groundwater, the environment, rivers and other waterways.
Among the most egregious of its misconduct, Valley Meat operated a cow slaughterhouse for nearly three years without any state approval to discharge water at all, thereby avoiding any oversight that might help monitor the damage that could be done. For years, Valley Meat illegally dumped and buried cow carcasses and pieces of dead animals, despite repeated requests from state regulators to cease and desist and clean up the mess. Last week FRER documented these violations, and hundreds of others, in a submission to the New Mexico Environment Department, to support its argument that Valley Meat’s application for a wastewater discharge permit should be denied.
FRER was the first to discover that in Missouri, Rains Natural Meats intended to begin slaughtering horses, and has teamed with other Missouri groups and individuals to prevent an environmental and potential human health catastrophe. FRER has collected objective testimony from veterinarians and horse trainers proving that virtually every American horse who goes to slaughter has been given drugs that render their meat illegal and unsafe. Such drugs present a recipe for disaster when the byproducts, blood and wastewater from horse slaughter end up in the environment. Because of FRER’s desire to protect the horses and the environment, it has now entered this battle to stop the pollution of Missouri waters.
“We intend to prevent the brutal practice of horse slaughter, which can never be done safely or humanely, and leads to degradation of the environment wherever it takes place,” said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. “With the support of other like-minded people, we can keep the fight going and protect hundreds of thousands of horses.”
- More than 100,000 American horses are exported for slaughter each year.
- The slaughter pipeline is well documented as horribly cruel, with many of the horses suffering immensely during transport and the horrific attempts to render them unconscious.
- The USDA has documented the abuse and misery horses suffer at U.S. slaughterhouses.
- Virtually all the horses used for meat spend most of their lives as work, competition or sport horses, companion animals, or wild horses, and are not raised or regulated as food animals.
- During their lives, horses are given a constant regimen of drugs and other substances which are either illegal for food animals, or are potentially dangerous to people who eat them.
FRER is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned and abused horses, and the elimination of American horse slaughter for human consumption. For two full years, FRER has been leading the national charge in preventing the slaughter of American horses for human food. It intends to continue its efforts until the practice is permanently outlawed.
About Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER)
Front Range Equine Rescue is a 501c3 nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education. Since 1997, FRER has assisted thousands of horses through its rescue and educational programs. Many of FRER’s rescued horses are obtained directly from livestock auctions and feed lots, which without FRER’s intervention would have shipped to slaughter.