PRYOR, OK —
Among the items on De Los Santos’ checklist now: alerting authorities and hiring security.
During his two-year fight, he and his wife have received numerous death threats. And last summer, there was a suspicious fire at the plant.
“We will have some angry people, I bet,” he said. “But we are doing what we are supposed to and that’s it.”
The debate over a return to domestic horse slaughter has been an emotional one that centers on whether horses are livestock or companion animals and what is the most humane way to deal with the country’s horse overpopulation, particularly in the drought-stricken West. Supporters say it is better to slaughter unwanted horses in regulated domestic plants than to ship them to sometimes inhumane plants in Mexico.
The issue has divided horse rescue and animal welfare groups, ranchers, politicians and Indian tribes.