The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

June 28, 2013

Fed officials approve horse slaughterhouse in NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials cleared the way Friday for a return to domestic horse slaughter, granting a southeastern New Mexico company's application to convert its cattle facility into a horse processing plant.

In approving Valley Meat Co. plans to produce horse meat, USDA officials also indicated they would grant similar permits to companies in Iowa and Missouri as early as next week.

With the action, the Roswell, N.M., company is set to become the first operation in the nation licensed to process horses into meat since Congress effectively banned the practice seven years ago.

The company has been fighting for approval from the Department of Agriculture for more than a year with a request that ignited an emotional debate over whether horses are livestock or domestic companions.

The decision comes more than six months after Valley Meat Co. sued the USDA, accusing it of intentionally delaying the process because the Obama Administration opposes horse slaughter.

Valley Meat Co. wants to ship horse meat to countries where people cook with it or feed it to animals.

In a statement, the company said it was "encouraged that after well over a year of delay that the process has finally reached completion. Valley will now begin final preparation to hire 40 to 100 employees over the coming weeks and months so that they may go to work providing a humanely harvested, safe, legally compliant product to the world markets."

Although the USDA granted the company's certification, it was unclear when it would actually be able to begin slaughtering horses. Valley Meat Co. attorney Blair Dunn said the USDA has to send inspectors to the plant before it can begin operation. The USDA said Valley Meat would have to notify the plant in advance to get inspectors on site.

The plant would become the first horse slaughterhouse to operate in the country since Congress banned the practice by eliminating funding for inspections at the plants. Congress reinstated the funding in 2011, but the USDA has been slow in granting permits permit, citing the need to re-establish an oversight program.

Text Only
AP National
  • FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. While the proposal be

    April 24, 2014

  • Taliban ready to deal on captive US soldier? WASHINGTON (AP) — The captors of an American soldier held for nearly five years in Afghanistan have signaled a willingness to release him but are unclear which U.S. government officials have the authority to make a deal, according to two individuals

    April 24, 2014

  • Big riders mean big horses on Western trails BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Wranglers in the West who have for decades cashed in on the allure of getting on a horse and setting out on an open trail say they have had to add bigger horses to their stables to help carry larger tourists over the rugged terrai

    April 24, 2014

  • Biologists watching fish runs after deadly slide DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) — Fisheries biologist Pete Verhey waded through the cold, clear creek that feeds into the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, scanning riffles and side channels looking for evidence of fish eggs. "We got one!" he shouted, pu

    April 24, 2014

  • FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes, but enhance scrutiny of such

    April 24, 2014

  • Court critical of Ohio law punishing campaign lies WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears to be highly skeptical of laws that try to police false statements during political campaigns, raising doubts about the viability of such laws in more than 15 states. Justices expressed those concerns early

    April 23, 2014

  • Report on CIA interrogations shadows Gitmo trials WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's forthcoming report on the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques could add to the legal complications facing the long-delayed U.S. military tribunals of terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The

    April 23, 2014

  • APNewsBreak: Clemency after 10 years in prison? WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will begin considering clemency applications from nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars, according t

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal. William Rousan's last words were, "My trials and tran

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage LAS VEGAS (AP) — As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger vot

    April 23, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National