Animal’s Angels: Presidio TX Slaughter Horse Export Pens Investigated

Investigative report supplied by Animal’s Angels

Dead Horses and Suffering Prove there is no such thing as “Humane” Horse Slaughter
The following abridged investigative report may be the best way of describing what we found in Presidio, TX and what took us there. It is important to remember that the situation at the export pens in Presidio is what is found everywhere along the horse slaughter pipeline.

In Shippensburg, PA or Presidio, TX; Butler, KY or Fairhaven, MI; Shelby, MT or Los Lunas, NM; Shipshewana, IN or Sugarcreek, OH– the evidence is stark and clear: Horse slaughter and transport on U.S. soil or not, means suffering and cruelty for horses long before they stand in the slaughter kill box.

Important Background to Investigation

Photos provided to Animals’ Angels and documentation obtained by Public Information Request show horses dying in C4 export pens and carcasses dumped in a dry creek bed. Taken in August of 2011, with approximately 350 horses on the property, photos depict several horses down, struggling and dying. Many were extremely emaciated and/or had open, untreated wounds.

Signed eye witness statements report horses without food & water, and “non-ambulatory horses dying where they lay in puddles of mud and urine.”

(All Photographs provided by anonymous sources, taken between 8/12/11-8/18/11)

After receiving cruelty complaints & pictures on 8/15/11, the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office stated that they would launch an investigation. On 8/19/11, the Sheriff’s Office removed several horses from the C4 pens. At the same time, the Texas Department of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) launched an investigation in regards to the illegal carcass dumping.

Animals’ Angels Investigation:

Animals’ Angels requested a status update from the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office as well as TCEQ in February and also submitted Public Information Act requests regarding horse shipments and any prior investigations of the C4 pens.

The TCEQ request revealed that they investigated dead horses being dumped on private property by C4 on October 2010, June 2011, August 2011, finding a total of 56 or more horse carcasses, most along Cibolo Creek. At least 6 were microchipped, one horse was branded with a blue “D”, indicating that it had been delivered to the pens by Dorian Ayache and then was rejected by the Mexican authorities. Paperwork obtained also showed that the following kill buyers were delivering horses to the C4 pens: Dorian Ayache (TN), Bill Richardson (TX), Joe Rios (TX), Trent Saulters (TX), Dennis Kunz (UT), Ryon Simon (MN), Double JJ Horse Company (OK) and Triple Crown Ranch (OK).

In the August 2011 report TCEQ states, “The cause of death of these horses remains unknown and should be further investigated by the appropriate agency having jurisdiction in this matter.” This would indicate that the sheriff’s office was enjoined to investigate.

However, TCEQ has informed AA that further information is not available to the public but is under “Management Review.”

The Presidio County Sheriff’s Office response included no documents of a cruelty investigation against C4. Apparently, there are also no records of any complaints ever being submitted. However, Deputy Sheriff Nunez acknowledged in an earlier email (8/15/11) to complainant the receipt of the complaint & the pictures and confirmed that 2 cruelty investigations were ongoing.

Dead Horse, notice trenching

The Sheriff’s Department did provide some documents of an investigation related to C4’s illegal dumping. It included landfill records, showing that in June, July and August of 2011 C4 dumped approximately 50 dead horses/month at the landfill.

The photographic evidence submitted to the Presidio Sheriff’s Department suggests cruel and inhumane treatment on C4 property where horses were in the “custody and control” (as described in state law) of C4. What happened?

Investigation on the ground: Presidio 3/ 6-7/2012

Investigators immediately observe a truck unloading horses from Three Angels Farms (Dorian and Edwin Ayache) whose February wreck in TN (crashing within an hour of leaving origin), killed 3 and injured several of the 38 horses. http://www.wkrn.com/story/16531100/overturned-cattle-truck-closes-both-directions-of-i-40.

A Dennis Chinn truck (Pratt, KS) sits empty nearby.

Both Ayache and Chinn trucking companies have many violations, the most recent include 31 violations for Vehicle Maintenance, 4 Unsafe Driving, 9 Fatigued Driving, Driver Fitness and Crash with Injury.

A second Three Angels Farm truck is observed with holes, loose boards, broken overhead piping that put horses at risk of severe injuries.

Wrangler Grain truck, Mount Pleasant, TX and Robert Jackson truck and trailer, Marietta, OK are also seen.

No vantage point allows AA investigators to see inside the pens. After renting a helicopter, investigators observe 2 dead horses in a pen with other live horses. Water is available to all horses, but little to no hay can be seen in the pens and there is no shelter from the desert sun. Investigators note temperature is already 93 degrees. TX Animal Health & Safety code 821.021 defines cruelly treated as “unreasonably deprived of necessary food, care, or shelter.”

Investigators believe the flyover caused C4 to remove the dead horses shortly afterwards. The horses observed on the C4 trailer as it waited outside the landfill appear to have been dead for some time, the bay mare observed from the air, is bloated, her legs stiff and extended. Scavengers have eaten her anus. The dead chestnut is terribly, extremely boney with hip, rib bones clearly defined, her anus also eaten. Investigators also checked horses for bullet holes that would indicate euthanasia, but none were visible.

Leaving the pens, investigators go to the border crossing and see two new Mexican transport trailers without semis parked in the unshaded broker lot, one already loaded. The trailer fully loaded with horses sits there for 4+ hours in the hot afternoon sun and is still there when investigators leave.

Investigators note that on these new trailers the sides can be closed completely, which makes it impossible to check en route if a horse has gone down or if there are other problems. Closed, the metal trailer would be intensely hot. Unfortunately and predictably, trailers loaded with horses documented at the border waiting to cross were completely closed.

Conclusion:

While some improvements were noted (no illegal dumping of dead horses was observed), horses are still dying at the C4 pens in Presidio. It appears carcasses are left in the pens with other horses and are not immediately removed. The pens have no shelter from the desert sun. Questions remain regarding adequate food.

Transport trailers & procedures observed in Presidio are unacceptable. Animals’ Angels has discussed with USDA officials the dangerous disrepair of the Ayache trailer, the detached loaded trailers waiting for hours, and the closed up Mexican trailers. They have promised to take a look further into each.

Concerns also remain regarding no confirmed sheriff’s investigation and TCEQ’s review that is unavailable to the public for an unknown period of time. It now appears that the slow deaths of multiple horses in 2011 were never investigated and that no charges were filed against C4 for cruelty to animals. It appears the real bottom line here is that horses suffered and continue to suffer in Presidio.

Horse slaughter is no excuse. A normal horse owner, who just left his or her ailing horse to suffer and die, would be charged with animal cruelty. It should be no different for these horses.

Click to read the full investigative report…

29 comments on “Animal’s Angels: Presidio TX Slaughter Horse Export Pens Investigated

  1. Yet, the biggest lie tossed around by the pro-slaughter gang, is that horses wouldn’t suffer in good’ol USA, as they do when transported to Canada or Mexico..Yeah, right.
    They do more (longer) suffering on THIS side of the border.

  2. NO to slaughter ! No to re-opening slaughter houses in the USA ! Close down the slaughter houses in Mexica and Canada !!!

  3. Doesn’t it make you wonder how these people could stand by and watch as these animals suffered and died? When it is hot and dry here, we put out water for wildlife and birds. How could you stand and watch as an animal suffered from thirst and hunger and then sit down and eat your own meal with plenty to drink? I think it is unfortunate that the people causing or allowing this are not forced to suffer the same things.

  4. A lot of words came to mind while I was reading this…the ones I can repeat here are Heinous, Vile, Bloodthirsty and Criminal. Why aren’t the authorities all over this? Are they on the take? Do they not give a damn about life? We need to be up in the USDA’s collective faces asking questions and demanding answers.

    I wonder if any of these assh es have pets at home? God forbid!

  5. This and many other reasons is why we all gather here, I am absolutrly sickened by the torture our magnificent , loving horses are forced to endure, for the greed some poccess……………….this is a example of true evil GREED<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

  6. This is really sickening and it seems like without Animal Angels and other agencies like them, the people would never know what is going on. Our Government must do their jobs in protecting these defenseless horses. I am sure that there is so much of this abuse going on especially in the bordering towns of Mexico. There is much work to be done to correct this abuse against horses.

  7. This may be off subject, but I emailed Montana Horse Rescue about the June 2 mtg. in Victor MT where Wallis will speak FOR horse slaughter and offered MO help namely the video presentation made by Cynthia MacPherson against horse slaughter in MO. Could we get something going in MT to counter the PRO slaughter meeting on June 2? Let’s hear from Montana!

  8. The C4 pen is the only pen in Presidio that does not provide shelter for the animals. If they are going to be in the business, they should be made to follow the Texas animal cruelty statues.

    The feedlot in Morton does not provide shelter either. Why are they getting away with this?

    • because the BLM gov doesn’t provide shelter either to the wild horses..they treat them worse than beef cattle.

  9. Hey America (actually make that the world)…..this is your food system in action; from purveyors to the regulatory agencies! Think twice about buying anything.

  10. This will and should be promoted as ‘president Obama is killing horses’. By not banning horse slaughter in America, by allowing asshhats like sue wallis to continue their objective…this crap will get worse not better. If ever there was a time to promote the total ban of American horses, as a political need ,this IS the time.

    And don’t let Mrs Romney run with that as she is a horse lover and will use that as politics.. I’m sure plenty of her 250k horse investments went to slaughter when they out-lived their usefulness.

    non-political, please lets put some political pressure on that anti horse slaughter bill, now!

    and please make more of those white house petitions, a lot of people have got their issues looked into and changed. suggestion the cheating wallis did on her petition sigs…make a petition about that cheating.

    • Laura,

      I do not think it is a good idea for you say you are sure that Mrs. Romney’s 250,000 horses are sent to slaughter. First, you don’t know. Second, she is working with dressage and warm bloods. It takes years for them to develop with their riders. There are very few warm bloods showing up in horse rescues and very few warm bloods being sent to slaughter. If you have evidence that someone is sending horses to slaughter, then that is one thing, but your comment is a little flip and libelous without evidence.

    • Mrs. Romney has come to horses late in life as they have been her therapy for her serious health issues.

      It would be my most sincere hope that there would be a “positive” equine advocate playing in politics this year, win or lose, as we need to give the horses the greatest voice possible, and not quibble over whence it came.

  11. This is as gross, heartless , sickening & unacceptable as we all imagined! Maybe, even worse than we thought possible. Even if you put the idea of slaughtering horses aside for a second, & think to how cattle are treated before, during & after transport for slaughter. For some reason, I keep thinking the cattle may not be as abused as the horses. Why would that be? Any animal, regardless of species, being sent to such a horrific end as that, should at least be treated humanely, & given food, water & shade. That is the only human thing to do! But, these people are sub-human, they are NOT human, they ARE monsters! All of them, including the truckdrivers that do the hauling! If they want fattened cattle to send “to market”, so they can get more money, why not at least fattened up these poor horses too, why on earth would they just let them starve!!?? Now, back to the idea of slaughtering horses, it does not matter where they came from, or where they are going to, or if they’re going to be slaughtered across our borders, or in our own country. Horse slaughter is NOT to be tolerated, it is unacceptable, America does NOT want it, it is animal abuse at it’s worst! The only good thing I can see & think of, looking at these heartbreaking photos & reading this post, is the fact that the horses that died are a lot better off than the ones that are left to suffer. Even if the poor animals starved, it’s better than the terror & pain & agony of being butchered alive!! We’ve got to stop this America!!

  12. I saw this posted on FB yesterday and copied the link and sent it to President Obama. Don’t know whether it got there — the ‘website’ was having issues!! Anyway, this could be the ONE major thing that once and for all shows the truth and that NO ONE can deny!! This needs to be spread EVERYWHERE for everyone to see — pro and anti alike! Let’s see how the pros can come up with “denials” of this!!! This is a great expose of the truth and cannot be denied!!

  13. All anyone would need to do to have a very complete case against horse slaughter as well as multi-cases against the BLM’s mismanagement practices would be to read R. T.’s blog. Here is the historical record or links to the historical record for the past few years.

  14. It is so hard to believe. That there are soooo many “people” out there, neighbors, city council members, law enforcement that we are to trust, government officials that we elect, that can look at these pictures and feel nothing. And do nothing. That there are humans that are capable of such vile and heinous cruelty. It’s so dis-heartening. It breaks my heart. So many tears. That this is happening in OUR country each and everyday, to both man and animals. And all in the name of greed!!!!

  15. Seeing and reading this report should be enough to remind every human and American never be lazy about getting the SAFE passed.

  16. You can blame it on the president or blame it on the people who would rather pray on it than act on it. If everyone that prayed on it actually sent a letter or an email to all of their state reps in senate and congress as well as letters to offending states stating you will boycott tourism in all states applying for horse slaughter, then you might actually see positive action. Letters to your fav celebrities that may bring more publicity would help too. Tell your best friend to send letters or email as well. DO & then DO MORE

  17. If these people can be held accountable for their mistreatment of OUR horses, why can’t the BLM?! They are denying adequate shelter for their thousands of captive horses, not to mention what other cruelties are being perpetrated on them. All of this needless slaughter needs to stop! No being deserves to be treated this way!

  18. And Europeans eat this? It is time for this documentery to be reported on CNN and other channels to convince the caring Congress to support and vote for the SAFE ACT, to stop the sending and slaughtering of our American Horses.

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