Earlier today, the owner of Valley Meat, Co., near Roswell, NM, announced that his horse slaughterhouse was hit by arson. The blaze did not burn the whole factory down, but appears to have been targeted for the refrigeration unit.
According to De Los Santos, “The fire inspector was out there. He took samples of the dirt and stuff just to make sure. But he said this was something that was not done by electricity or lightning. He said something was poured on it to light it.”
The damage will postpone the factory’s startup, since it cannot work without a refrigeration unit. Chaves County police are calling the blaze, “very suspicious.”
According to AP, a passerby notified authorities on Saturday after noticing someone jump the fence and pour lighter fluid on the refrigerator.
De Los Santos claims that opponents have made various threats to him, like “We hope the place catches on fire.” But it’s hard to narrow down the opponents, since the list of organizations opposed to horse slaughtering includes the Humane Society, the USDA, and other groups.
It appears that the Department of Agriculture held up the permits for Valley Meat, but was sued by the company for failing to act. At that point, the permits were given, in spite of a lack of sufficient environmental review.
Direct action gets the goods.
None of this would have been possible two years ago, since Congress lifted a ban on domestic horse slaughter in 2011. Most horse meat, however, is likely to be shipped to other countries that eat horses and to zoos for animal food.