Recent investigations at several Texas export pens reveal some disturbing issues. The pens, located in Eagle Pass, Socorro and Del Rio, are all operated by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Problems and concerns include: Despite the fact that horses will spend 38 hours or more in transit, no food is provided for the horses at the pens. This is a clear violation of the commercial transport of equines to slaughter regulations.
In the early morning, horses arrive at the export pens from locations as far as 15 hours away. They are unloaded into barren pens, where they remain for the day.
In the evening, the horses are loaded onto Mexican trucks and transported to the horse slaughter plants in Jerez & Fresnillo, Mexico, both approx. 800 miles away from the border. Animals’ Angels followed one of the trucks from the Socorro export pen to the Jerez plant – the journey took 16 hours and 30 minutes.
Horses are transported across the border in open roof trailers designed for cattle.
These trailers are too low to afford adequate head room, so horses hit their heads on the metal pipes and get stuck between the pipes. The trailers offer no protection from the elements, exposing horses to intense sun, wind and rain on the 800 mile long transport to the plant.
Particularly unacceptable is the practice of returning lame, sick,blind or injured horses with the shipper.
Horses that do not pass the inspection by the Mexican veterinarian are loaded back onto the truck of the owner/shipper immediately – exposing the horse to another long distance transport and an unknown fate. No records are kept about the refusal of the horse and no charges against the shipper are filed. Horses in such condition should not be allowed to leave the export pens.Protection laws require veterinary care and possible euthanasia.
In addition, new information about the cost to taxpayers to run these export pens truly begs the question: Why should the American taxpayer subsidize wealthy Belgian horse slaughter companies, an industry a very significant majority of Americans oppose? Documents obtained by Animals’ Angels prove that the cost of operating the pens far exceeds the modest fees collected on the horses awaiting export for slaughter.
Why would we want to subsidize wealthy foreign interests whose profits require inherently cruel and inhumane treatment, a business which thrives on overbreeding and even horse theft, and an industry that makes responsible horse owners sick at the prospect of selling a horse because it can so easily end up in the wrong hands?
IN THE HANDS OF KILL BUYERS! When horses are purchased at auction by buyers intending to kill them, they're hauled away in double- decker tractor trailers where they are beaten and often blinded with baseball bats to mollify them. After crossing the border into Mexico, the animals are stabbed on each side-an act to tenderize their meat-and immobilized. Workers, then saw the horses legs off, at the knee and hang them to bleed out-all while the horses are ALIVE! (This is an excerpt, from an article written by Missy Diaz, crediting Victoria Mc Cullough and Sen. Joe Abruzzo for bringing awareness of horse slaughter, to Florida. In 2010 Florida Legislation unanimously passed the Horse Protection Bill, making it a felony to slaughter horses for personal or commercial use.)