Horse News

Horse Snuff Video Ignites Outrage

Source: By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013

Coon said his department had received “lots of email, lots of calls, lots of faxes from people all over the country” about the video, which he described as “very disgusting.”

Graphic, Sadistic Violence – Endorsed by Sue Wallis

LAS CRUCES — The video of a longtime Roswell slaughterhouse employee fatally shooting a horse in the head after swearing at “animal activists” has sparked a state Livestock Board investigation and outrage across the country.

Officials with the state Livestock Board executed a search warrant Thursday at the Dexter home of Tim Sappington, who had worked in maintenance for the Roswell area Valley Meat Co.

The company, which is seeking USDA inspections so it can begin slaughtering horses to export the meat to Mexico and overseas markets, issued a statement Thursday confirming that the man in the video is Sappington, a former employee.

The company’s attorney, A. Blair Dunn, said Valley Meat fired Sappington after becoming aware of the video, which was posted a year ago but has now become the focus of a public relations campaign by the Horse Plus Humane Society.

Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon, whose agency is supporting the Livestock Board investigation, said the shooting of the horse is being examined as an animal cruelty case. But, Coon added, “It’s going to be up to the district attorney and the Livestock Board to come to that conclusion.”

Coon said his department had received “lots of email, lots of calls, lots of faxes from people all over the country” about the video, which he described as “very disgusting.”

Coon added: “For a man to make his point by shooting a helpless horse that deserved better than that.”

The Valley Meat statement said Sappington euthanized the horse “as was his legal right for his own consumption,” and Dunn noted that Sappington “precisely and exactly euthanized a horse in the proper fashion.”

In a 51-second video posted to YouTube, Sappington leads a brown horse by a rope to a spot in a dirt road next to a trailer. After briefly stroking the horse’s nose and then its neck, he says, “All you animal activists, (expletive) you,” pulls a handgun from its holster, places it against the horse’s forehead and fires a single shot.

The horse appears to leap involuntarily into the air, its legs curling beneath it, and crashes to the ground. Sappington turns to glare briefly at the camera and then walks away, saying, “Good.”

Sappington could not be reached for comment Thursday. A still image from the video, which Dunn said was made in early 2012, is posted on Sappington’s Facebook site, where he states he worked for Valley Meat since 1995.

“We agree that his (Sappington’s) comments were regrettably crass, not contributing anything to this dialogue so we do not condone his statements,” says the Valley Meat statement, “but he was within his lawful rights to slaughter and butcher a horse and he was not acting as an employee of the company in that action.”

Dunn noted that, over the last year since Valley Meat’s efforts to become the first company in the U.S. since 2006 to slaughter horses for the consumer market became public, the company’s ownership and staff have received death threats and bomb threats, including a bomb threat on Monday. The slaughterhouse has also been burglarized and vandalized, Dunn said.

The Valley Meat statement said “the opposition is now resorting to terrorist tactics.”

“.While Mr. Sappington’s personal comments are inappropriate, they pale in comparison to threatening to bomb people and kill their families,” the statement says. “… No animal is worth threatening or ending a person’s life.”

A mailer from an advocacy group called Horse Plus Humane Society to its supporters said Sappington’s action — swearing at animal rights activists before shooting the unsuspecting horse in the head — “could be considered a hate crime against all of us who have spoken out against the Roswell, NM horse slaughter house.”

A spokeswoman for the Livestock Board said only that the investigation is ongoing. Animal Protection of New Mexico forwarded a copy of the video to the Livestock Board on Thursday, but it was not clear if that initiated the investigation.

Laura Bonar of Animal Protection of New Mexico said Sappington’s actions might qualify as exteme animal cruelty, defined as maliciously killing an animal.

“Posting that video is not doing anything toward solutions for horses that are suffering,” Bonar said. “The act itself is very disturbing and troubling.”

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Categories: Horse News

48 replies »

  1. Hi all,

    I just called the Roswell NM police department about Tim Sappington making death threats against all animal rights activist via YouTube. The lady at the police department says they are investigating but I think they need more calls about this deviant making death threats. Here is the number to the police. (575) 624-6770

    If you want to call Valley meats and complain about their employee making death threats there number is 575-622-1214


    • Hi All, I just called Roswell, NM PD. They gave me the number for the Sheriff’s Dept (forgive me, I didn’t get the county, etc.) but here’s the phone# 575.62.6500. Both receptionists were very nice, and are being bombarded by calls. Let’s keep it up. One gets in more trouble for parking tickets in California than this man did; it’s not okay that ‘he killed this animal in this fashion, for all to view. He wanted it viral, now it is. May he die with less who love him than the mercy shown this beautiful, trusting horse I’d have loved to have called my own!


  2. “… No animal is worth threatening or ending a person’s life.”
    I tend to disagree with that statement above. There are many humans in this world who do NOT value any life, human or animal. I think this quote says it all:
    Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.
    – “The Lowest Animal” Mark Twain ~


    • If I caught someone attempting to take my horse out of his pasture, you can bet he’d have a bullet in his kneecap. Well, truth is, I’m not that good a shot, I hope I’d get his kneecap.


      • I know what you mean. When the horses were stolen from my boarding barn in Dallas, to say the stable owner took it badly would be something of an understatement. He not only installed infrared sensors all over the place, he personally sat out there all night for some time with a .45. I am NOT kidding. And he wouldn’t be aiming for any kneecap either.


      • In light of this totally vicious incriminating video I would like to know why since it was filmed in 2012 why is no criminal action been taken?????????


    • After calling some numbers I was told to call here: 575-624-6500 Chavez County Sheriff’s office. They just took my name and number and just reiterated the going inv onestigation on this..They are suppose to call everyone back who calls in….


    • This was picked up by AP and even showed up in my rural newspaper the one in Eastern Oregon where David Duquette lives.


  3. For sure is another serious setback to Valley Meats, adding to their slaughterhouse violations. And please, Valley Meats JUST fired him!? Of course they knew of this for a year, when Sappington did this horror. Just goes to show what kind of employees at slaughterhouses, as researched & documented…with *Facts. Importantly, this man IS a danger to society, given the enormity of what he did, & continues to do. It is said by professionals, animal cruelty is most often the 1st indicator of domestic violence. Go-check-out-his home! This has gone *viral. R.I.P. sweet, trusting beauty. You are in the arms of the angels. Now you are helping so many other horses from cruelty & slaughter. R.I.P.


  4. Sandra, I would rather amend your Mark Twain quote to say that primates are the only cruel species. Many higher primates engage just like humans do – sex for pleasure and not procreation, watch a group of young male chimpanzees (the common and bonobos), they sometimes act just like a gang of young men. Many animals in nature can be cruel in many ways, man just seems to be the most vain of them all, thinking we are above others (which only shows we are very insecure).


  5. Tom please post if you can !!!! Thank You for taking the initiative to get them !!! Obviously it isnt his first bout with evil !!!!!


  6. If the company was receiving threats, during this past year, why didn’t it report it until now ? If they were aware that this video had been produced and posted on the Internet, why didn’t they take action against the perpetrator at that time ?


    • Because Dunn (Valley Meats attorney) is a liar.

      Media needs to ask for proof when interviewing this pathological liar (in fact, I wonder if he could lose his NM lawyers license for making false statements on behalf of a client).

      And advocates better not be calling these pieces of human garbage up and making threats!


  7. The threats to activists is real with a man of his character. One activist disappeared in December. He needs to be questioned. The fact that they are pretending to playing the victim role shows how evil and twisted this business is. Reminds me of Jeffrey Daumer- he enjoyed killing and rating his victims. And whose horse was that? Don’t tell me he raised it. He may have stolen it.


  8. If this happened a year ago, why did it take the slaughter plant that long to fire him…. just because of all this public outrage? Mind set of the slaughter industry is now viewed world wide. You want him as your neighbor, you want that kind of employer for yourself, son or daughter? As mentioned in other commens, what kind of household does this Tim have or anyone else that works at the slaughter plant, for low wages?
    Where’s cattle/sheep/pig slaughter response’s, I’m sure they have thoughts on this? Be interesting.
    Shame it took a year before anyone paid attention to this tragedy.


  9. Its funny because I don’t consider myself as an activist I’m a horse owner/horse show judge/horse show manager and secretary and a boarding barn owner. It just so happens I respect life of all living breathing things, and don’t feel horses deserve the cruel death that becomes them at a horse slaughter plant. Horse slaughter is not humane PERIOD. Its no wonder the plant owners condone what he did. After all they want to make $$$$$ on the blood of our trusting wonderful horses.
    It was just so heartbreaking to see that little youngster following him so trusting


  10. I have a sinking gut wrenching feeling this evil man is going to get away with what he has done to that poor trusting horses. He has the right to kill and butcher his farm animals (livestock), and he did not do it in a cruel abusive manner (according to the law). We know horses are not livestock, but in the court of law, it will be viewed as such. I have the feeling that all he will get is the obligatory slap on the hand for making and posting a video in extremely bad taste. I pray this is not the case, but if the letter of the law is followed…
    He may be an evil gruesome excuse of a human being, but he made sure he did nothing inhumane or abusive (according to the law) to the horse, and all he really did was tell all animal advocates to F… off.
    Even though we took his perceived message as a threat, and his actions as hate crime, and brutal, the prosecution will have to prove intent, and there in lays the problem.
    I am sickened by this man and what he has done, and I hope and pray, with every fibre of my being, that I am wrong.


  11. why is this video being shown now and not when it was made ?????? early 2012, this should have been addressed at that time !!!!!!


  12. This man roams free and the Horses are given the death penalty, ??????????????????? There is something gravely wrong with this scenario ?????????


  13. This guy is a very sick individual. Why has a weapon even been issued to sick person like this. If this maniac feels its ok to shot a helpness animal who would say he would stop there. I also called the Sheriff’s Dept and spoke to a woman who said the same thing – It is under investigation. I told her if this guy lived in my state he would be brought up on charges. This is the mentality of all those supporting the slaughter of our horses. I an going to call the person who heads up the New Mexico Dept of Ag and tell him if this guy has any more horses, they should be impounded. Do all those involved lack moral decency? I feel sorry for the residents of New Mexico and Oklahoma if they are ever allowed to open these “Houses of Horror” and “Death.” This man is a sick s ick man and if the state sticks up for them I will NEVER RETURN to New Mexico for a vacation. I sure hope the Governor and the state Legislators are looking to pass legislation stopping the slaughter plant. Why does it seem the law protects the violators and not the victims? This was a horrific act and for anyone to claim legal rights is as sick as he is. He needs to go to jail for a long time, perhaps a mental hospital. But of course this would be too good for him…


    • hey Gail! I COMPLETELY agree!! prisoners receive far too many rights as is…to the point of this &*&^$#- see he has his trusty COWBOY HOLSTER ON!! is he a bad ass!!! mm mm–such a display of manliness!! probably treats his girls the same way…SOOOOO SICKENED BY THIS..I couldn’t turn on the sound or finish watching..the only thing I think of is that it was quick..the poor horse probably had lousy accomodations as it was. Took notice of ALL the NM PD numbers!! GREAT info!! to all above comments! I am personally offended as AS AN ACTIVIST!! I could SUE! EVERYONE ELSE DOES!! Also, wonder if this POS has a REGISTERED HANDGUN? Also-by the way–Is it LEGAL to DISCHARGE A FIREARM WITHIN CITY LIMITS in NM? Not to mention the murderer PERSONALLY OFFENDED AND THREATENED ME VIA YOU TUBE!! Cant we SUE FOR THAT??!!!


  14. I think this was totally human. He was very gentle and petted the horse to keep it calm before euthanizing it. I know what he said was cold and unkind. but he actions prove other wise. If anything happened to one of my beloved horses. I would hope they would get to go as peacefully has this horse did. People who have a problem with him killing his horse for meet. Yet they will sIt and eat beef, pork, lamb or chicken. in a terrifying blood soaked slaughter house. Your a bunch of Hypocrites. unless your vegan, you have no right to judge this man.


    • Not only am I not vegan, I raise cattle and sheep for meat. No one I know has ever eaten beef, pork, lamb or chicken in a blood soaked slaughterhouse. While what Sappington did was better than a slaughter house death for horses, it isn’t fair to compare horses to cattle. It is easier to kill cattle, even with a bullet. Their brain is located where it’s easier to get a clean shot. In a slaughterhouse their heads are immobilized by a squeeze chute, making a bad shot almost impossible. I don’t know what the large slaughter houses are like, we don’t go there, I don’t know much about factory farming, but we deliver our own cattle to the butcher and put them in the pens. I know they are calm, maybe not happy, but not terrified.


    • “totally human or humane”, wideyes?

      He didn’t give the proper headshot with bullet. “snuff” said?

      Better than the kill chute at Bouvary? Certainly! But still F*c%ed up.

      The horse, we call him/she Francis DID NOT GO PEACEFULLY.

      p.s. learn how to spell meet v meat when talking about horsemeat.

      Uh…and yes I do have a right to judge this man, this company and anything associated with them if they are trying to pollute and compromise my food system.


      • Agreed Denise…. clueless commenter……….the horse suffered a slow death the bullet didn’t kill him…this guy must of been one of the kids who killed and or dismembered animals and enjoys this sort of thing…….food my ass…….PSYCHOPATH……..


      • Damn right Denise , I am Outraged by this imbecilic human, who has no common regard for life and the beauty of it !!!!!!!!!!!


      • Dear Denise , I made a choice to ignore the Rantings of those who have no Idea, you can never make sense to them……………………..Some have wideyes but see and understand nothing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel sorry for them they miss lives Beauties and what they offer they choose to snuff out what they can not embrace or understand………………….


      • The only thing I could add or correct on what you say is that for me (as a vegan) this man’s actions pollute and compromise my culture. I have a right to expect certain civility from my fellow man. It’s to the best interest of all when one that is hostile, violent and hateful is called out on it. The pond may not belong to everyone… But we all have a right to expect it to be untainted. This man’s deeds and aggressive mindset are poisonous to all way beyond the contamination of mere food.


    • I do not eat meat either, wideyes. However, I will leave judgement of this tortured soul (Tim Sappington) to God and the justice system. From the uproar he caused nationwide, he may be meeting one or the other very soon.


  15. I want to know more about this “so called man” his criminal record, spousal/child abuse, animal abuse, registered sex offender, registered guns, etc.? He may be even more scary if you know more about him.


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