Judge clears way for domestic horse slaughter

Posted at: 11/01/2013 10:36 AM
Updated at: 11/01/2013 6:42 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A federal judge has approved horse slaughter in the United States.  This means the Roswell plant can open as early as next week.  KOB Eyewitness News 4 talked to the owner who’s getting the plant ready to go.

It’s news the owner of the Valley Meat horse slaughter plant has been waiting to hear.

"Blair called and said we won.  Well, after so long we don't even know how to react.  We did not know what to say,” said Rick De Los Santos.

It’s been a two year battle.  But today a federal judge in Albuquerque cleared the way for horse slaughterhouses to begin operating in the U.S. again.

"It's great, it’s been a long two years, I tell you that. It's been a long two years, but it’s really good to finally, you know we're that much closer to getting started," said De Los Santos.

But not everyone is celebrating.  Front Range Equine Rescue wrote on their Facebook, “We will be immediately appealing the ruling.  Of course we are disappointed but are keeping up the fight however we can.”

Meanwhile the plant outside Roswell is preparing to open.

"We might even get started working on it tomorrow, Saturday.  And get our refrigeration system fired up and going first, and then immediately I’ll call the employees.  Let them know that it’s time to get back to work," said De Los Santos.

The owner tells KOB they plan to open within the next 7-10 days.