ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The owner of a southeastern New Mexico company that plans to begin slaughtering horses next week says his plant was hit by arson over the weekend.
Valley Meat Co. owner Rick De Los Santos says someone apparently jumped the fence and poured accelerant over the compressors to his refrigeration unit on Saturday night.
Chaves County officials say they are investigating the blaze, which they called "very suspicious."
De Los Santos says his company has been the target of many threats as news has spread of its plans to resume domestic horse slaughter.
He says his company will be unable to open as planned Monday without a working refrigeration unit.
The Roswell company also goes to federal court Friday to fight attempts by animal rights groups seeking to block its opening.