Let’s face it, the battles between businesses and animal rights groups are not going to end anytime soon. Unfortunately, a New Mexico businessman trying to keep his doors open is learning all about the fight.

In a story by the Associated Press published April 14, Rick De Los Santos, owner of the Valley Meat Co., said he trying to revive his failing business with a legal idea: De Los Santos wants to slaughter horses in his meat packing plant.

I know what many are thinking, how horrible!

However, this man appears to have a plan to revive his business and that should be applauded. And maybe, just maybe, this idea should be considered.

Let’s face it, there are way too many horses not getting the life they deserve or sliding under the radar and making their way to Mexico where horse slaughter is legal.

Valley Meat Co. is a 7,290 square-foot plant that has been slaughtering cattle for over 20 years. However, the recession, combined with high beef costs, has closed the doors. This meant that a total of 45 people lost their jobs.

However, this man’s idea to keep his business open and help people keep their jobs probably won’t happen. When De Los Santos applied to the USDA for federal inspections, the New Mexico governor asked the USDA to deny the application. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services bars the processing of horses with any other animal.

De Los Santos wanted to slaughter between 20-25 horses a day and ship them to a supplier in Mexico. The meat was not meant for consumption in the USA.

The way I see it is that everyone is a loser in this situation. The Valley Meat Co. employees will remain unemployed and this man’s livelihood may disappear.

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
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