After years of legal battles, Valley Meat owner Rick de los Santos has withdrawn his petition to begin horse slaughtering at his Roswell, N.M. facility.
I think it’s just time to stop and see what will happen now,” he said, reports KRQE News.
The company has faced stiff opposition from numerous challenges in the four years that de los Santos has been trying to start operations. The company has faced legal battles by animal rights groups and the attorney general, and President Obama signed a bill earlier this year that stopped funding horse slaughterhouse inspections until 2016.
“It really is at this point at the end of that business in Roswell by them,” said Valley Meat Attorney A. Blair Dunn.
On Thursday, Dunn submitted a letter to the New Mexico Environmental Department withdrawing the plant’s application for a ground water discharge permit. The permit, which would allow the plant to discharge animal waste, is a must for the plant to operate.
Blair claims the department strung them along for seven months, never saying no the permit, but never saying yes either.
“They’ve been telling us well we need a 30-day extension, we need 45 days, we need 60, we cant make a decision right now,” said De Los Santos.
De los Santos said that he could not get a permit to slaughter cows at his facility either, as the department thought he might slaughter horses, too. The Environmental Department and Attorney General’s office did not comment on the news.