Horse slaughterhouse fights for permit in court

Posted at: 10/22/2013 3:08 PM
Updated at: 10/22/2013 4:22 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Photo: KOB File Photo

ROSWELL -- A controversial horse slaughterhouse near Roswell is fighting to obtain an important permit.

On Tuesday, the hearing to renew Valley Meat Company's wastewater permit took place at the Chaves County Courthouse.

People who oppose the slaughterhouse have been protesting outside the courthouse since last week.

"This is a big deal, people think it's something small, it's not. It's huge, it's nationwide, it really is," said Rick De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meat Company. "What they're doing is attacking the agricultural industry. It's not just slaughtering a horse, it's the whole agricultural industry."

The hearing continues Wednesday with time for public comment. The judge's decision could take weeks.

If the permit isn't approved, Valley Meat's owners say they will instead haul the waste off on trucks.