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Ex-Governor of Neighboring New Mexico Honored For Fighting Horse Slaughter

Photo: The Humane Society of the United States is honoring former New Mexico Governor and U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson for his efforts to help prevent horse slaughter in the U-S. Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States.
Photo: The Humane Society of the United States is honoring former New Mexico Governor and U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson for his efforts to help prevent horse slaughter in the U-S. Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States.
January 13, 2014

PHOENIX - The Humane Society of the United States is honoring the former governor of neighboring New Mexico, Bill Richardson, for his efforts to help prevent horse slaughter in the U.S.

According to Keith Dane, vice president for equine protection with the Humane Society, the organization recently named Richardson its "2013 Humane Horseman of the Year." Dane said Richardson's high-profile involvement is helpful as New Mexico's Valley Meat Company continues to try to open a horse slaughterhouse near Roswell.

It "helps to draw attention to the plight of horses that are meeting this end, and certainly helps in our fight to keep horse-slaughter plants in the United States closed," Dane declared.

Richardson also served as Energy Secretary and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration. Dane said Richardson and actor Robert Redford joined the Humane Society's lawsuit last year to stop Valley Meat from opening a horse slaughterhouse. That lawsuit was not successful, and Valley Meat hopes to kill horses and sell the meat as a food source in other countries.

Dane said that even if Valley Meat opens a slaughterhouse, it is unlikely that Congress would fund the
USDA inspections required for the facility to operate. If that happened, Dane said, Valley Meat could legally kill horses, but would be unable to process and sell the meat. He said broad public and political opposition to horse slaughter reaches all the way to the White House.

"President Obama, in the president's budget for 2014, actually asked that that defunding language be included in the agriculture spending bill."

Arizona Democratic Representatives Raul Grijalva and Kyrsten Sinema are co-sponsoring a bill in Congress to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption.


Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ