Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Celtics Live

84

100

Final

Bruins Live

1

1

2nd Prd 8:00

Patriots Live

17

16

Final

Firm sues to slaughter horses for meat

ALBUQUERQUE — A New Mexico meat company that wants to resume domestic horse slaughter for food is ­suing the federal government, alleging inaction on its application was driven by emotional political debates and has cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Valley Meat Co. is seeking to force the Department of ­Agriculture to resume inspections necessary to open what would be the nation’s first new horse slaughterhouse in more than five years.

Continue reading below

The company and its owner, Rick de los Santos, have ­also sued the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, and Animal Protection of New Mexico, accusing the organizations of defamation during a yearlong dispute that has reignited debate over the humane treatment of horses and how best to control the nation’s exploding equine population.

Perhaps the most divisive question is whether the noble, iconic animals that played a key role in the settling of much of America are livestock or pets.

The USDA declined to comment this week on the pending litigation. The agency has until January to respond to the suit filed in federal court in late October.

Animal Protection of New Mexico also declined comment. Humane Society officials did not immediately return a phone call Thursday.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com