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Horse shooting video stirs fury

– An Internet video that shows a meat company employee swearing at animal activists before shooting a horse in the head underscores the increasing emotional intensity of the national debate over whether a southeastern New Mexico plant should be allowed to resume domestic horse slaughter.

This week, animal rights groups uncovered the video posted by a former employee of Valley Meat Co., which has been fighting the United State Department of Agriculture for more than a year for approval to convert its former cattle slaughter operation into a horse slaughterhouse.

Valley Meat Co. owner Rick De Los Santos said the employee, who has been let go, was reacting to harassment by animal rights activists who have targeted the plant since its plans were made public about a year ago. The harassment has worsened since the video, made a year ago, was uncovered this week, he said.

“We are getting lots of threats … they hope our kids and families get killed, ugly stuff,” De Los Santos said.

The New Mexico Livestock Board has launched an inquiry into the shooting.

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