Equine Welfare Alliance
Equine Welfare Alliance & Wild Horse Freedom Federation INVESTIGATION REPORT
© Equine Welfare Alliance & Wild Horse Freedom Federation Page 1 of 8
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Report Date(s): Jan 12, 2015 – Jan 16, 2015
Content: Observe Eagle Pass Export Pens
[Run by the Texas Department of
Investigators were at the Eagle Pass, Texas export pens to observe the impact on activity
resulting from the approaching Jan 15 European Union [EU] regulation banning horse meat
from Mexico. Despite the declaration that US horse meat is not safe for consumers, during the
time the investigators were observing it appeared that there was no apparent change in the
number of US equines sent to Mexico for slaughter.
During the entire week a total of 20 loads shipped to Mexico for slaughter. The number of
shipments did not decrease after Jan 15, as had been anticipated. The day with the highest
number of loads exported was Jan 16. The investigators also discovered during their time at the
export pens that there were multiple violations of the Commercial Transportation of Equines to
Slaughter regulations [9CFR88]. Specifically, violations of the mandatory 6-hour offload rest
period for the horses were noted. The investigators also observed one violation of a rejected
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday the investigators observed someone at the pens
who appeared to be a USDA/APHIS Compliance Specialist for slaughter horse transportation.
The investigators questioned the USDA to determine if there was a compliance officer present
and are awaiting confirmation..
On Wednesday morning Jan. 14 the investigators contacted the USDA via email with questions
regarding the EU ban and the responses were vague. The investigators contacted them again later in the week and informed them of violations that occurred during the week. They
responded and indicated they were looking into it. On Friday the investigators contacted the
USDA to inform them that they observed a hauler arriving too late for horses to get a 6-hour rest
period and that this happened three times during the week. Later that day the investigators
once again contacted them regarding a donkey that went down in a trailer being hauled by a
regular pickup truck and was trampled by other equines. The animals all had slaughter tags.
"At 2:40p a white pickup departed the pens hauling a mixture of horses, donkeys and
burros. Upon leaving the pen property, a donkey fell down at the very back of the trailer. It tried to get up but could not. The investigators stopped the driver around the corner from the
pens and informed them. They stopped but then continued on. The investigators followed
them and watched the donkey struggle and get trampled by the other equines in the trailer.
The investigators called law enforcement and provided information. At one point, the driver
and passenger in the vehicle pulled over at a gas station and tried to get the donkey up. At
that time the investigators observed a second animal down in the trailer. They did not
succeed in getting the animals up and continued on. The investigators also called the
Sheriff’s Department once the investigators left the town of Eagle Pass."
Video Footage of Downed Donkey:
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