ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A horse slaughterhouse could be just weeks away from opening in New Mexico.
This comes after almost a year of delays that Valley Meat Company in Roswell says were all political.
An attorney for Valley Meat Company told us this coming Monday, they will be ready for their final exception by the USDA.
They expect to open shortly after.
Valley Meat Company, a one time cattle slaughterhouse that wants to slaughter horses, has been asking the USDA to inspect its plant since last spring.
But, the feds would not respond.
"They had heard from our governor and others around the country and it became a political issue," Attorney Blair Dunn said.
So, Valley Meat Company filed a lawsuit and that got things rolling.
"But last thing we heard from DOJ is that USDA was prepared and this was three weeks ago…to issue the grant of inspection," Dunn said.
Valley Meat Company Attoney Blair Dunn says the plant has been preparing and is ready for inspectors, who could visit as early as two weeks from now.
"The USDA will be coming for one more walk through to make sure everything is exactly ready to go," Dunn said.
The plant expects the USDA to clear them to open, even though a lot people do not want them to.
"They have strong feelings about connections that they may feel to animals and they may feel that horses are different than other livestock but the bottom line is that horses are livestock," Dunn said.
If things go as planned for Valley Meat Company, the horse meat will be sold overseas.
It is illegal in the U.S.
Dunn says the plant will help Roswell's economy.
"This is a part of agriculture and this plant itself represents up to a 100 jobs for that community... That this community needs," Dunn said.
Dunn says legislation in congress could still stop operations at the plant.
The bill would cut funding for inspectors.
Dunn also expects there to be more opposition from average people and he says they're bracing for potential lawsuits.
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