Well, the animal rights nuts got the AG of New Mexico to file for an injunction to halt the opening of it. He is running for Governor and everyone said he did this for points with the city people there who do not have a clue. After all, like everywhere else, it sounds go to be against killing horses.
The judge heard it last Friday and granted a 10 day injunction for both sides (the AG and the lawyers for the plant operator). They are supposed to present their cases then and the judge will decide whether or not to issue a permanent injunction.
The AG is claiming that the plant is environmentally unsafe for water supplies and that the meat will be toxic.
In all reality, this is a small plant and probably not the best example of a good slaughter facility. What would be best would be for a brand new plant to be built in a sparsely populated area in the TX or OK panhandles near where they already process millions of cattle and hogs. They process over 34 million cattle a year and you do not hear about pollution or environmental problems from them.
Right now, no one is going to invest in a nice, new plant until these little plants settle the argument of whether they can exist or not. The one thing in favor of stalling is that ther evidence become more clear that there is a huge unwanted horse problem (something the HSUS has said was untrue and made up by pro-slaughter people) and that something MUST be done with them.
The other thing that stalling is helping is that the drug companies and several Universities are currently testing elimination of drugs. Ironically, they are finding that drugs are cleared MUCH faster from horses than from cattle. They have been running tests on Bute because it keeps coming up and it in all of the protests. They are finding that the half life of Bute is only a matter of a few hours in a horse.
Once all of these results are in, they are going to lose one of their biggest arguments. When all of the testing is done, horse drugs will be labeled with withdrawal times just like cattle drugs are. There are actually 2 or 3X as many cattle drugs on the market than there are drugs labeled for horses.
Laboratories are also testing meat and blood and organ samples. It seems that drug testing on these takes less than 48 hours, so meat is still hanging when test results come back, so any meat with traces of a drug can be pulled before it is cut up.
As long as any Federal Legislation can be stalled that stops all horse transport and slaughter, it will eventually happen. If there is a Federal ban, the plants in Mexico and Canada will still be able to operate. They will just have to use Canadian and Mexican buyers and they will fall under NAFTA -- not that anyone can dispute what someone 'says' they are buying the horses for.
We have also heard from the local sale barn owner that they are re-opening the 20,000 head horse feedlot in Morton, Texas. This will be the main feedlot to hold and feed horses until any traces of drugs is undetectable. Once all of the laboratory testing is done, they think the EU will agree to import tested meat. Right now, the meat coming from the US has the same incidence of trace drugs that local EU meat has that supposedly has lived under the 'passport' system all of their lives.
I have links to the drug testing going on and to the AAEP Vets' inspection of the Mexican plant that they declare is handling and processing horses humanely and holds to any standards they would support.
I have been watching the Sante Fe and Albuquerque papers on line. I will let you know when anything changes.