Horse News

Auctioneer 1st Man Charged Under California Law To Protect Horses From Slaughter

SOURCE: CBS San Francisco

by Elizabeth Cook (Co-Anchor for KPIX 5 News)

MADERA (KPIX 5) — They were called Lacey and Squirt, two professional rodeo horses and beloved pets. But they ended up sold for meat on someone’s dinner plate overseas.

In a landmark case, a suspect has been charged with delivering at least one of them to slaughter.

The case is the talk of the town in Madera. Sheriff John Anderson has arrested a well-known businessman for an almost unheard of crime. “He will be treated no differently than anyone else,” Anderson said.

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Billy Ray Brown Jr., son of the owner of the local B and B Livestock auction, is accused of sending a horse called Lacey out of state to slaughter for human consumption.

That is a felony in California. A law was passed in 1998 to protect horses. This is the first time that it has ever been enforced.

Brown is a familiar face at B and B: He is the auctioneer.

So how did he get Lacey? Detective Adam McEwen said his investigation started when Lacey’s owner reported her and another horse called Squirt missing.

The owner told the detective that he had given the horses to Summer Rose Tex, a brand inspector with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, whom he trusted, and whom he says promised to take them to Harris farms to retire.

But instead, according to arrest records, she admitted to the owner that she had lied about where she had taken them.

Tex admitted selling them to a horse dealer, who McEwen later learned sold them to Billy Brown.

A paper trail led the detective across three states from California to Oregon, Washington, and across the border to a slaughterhouse in Canada.

“I visited this slaughterhouse in an undercover capacity,” said Eric Sakach, a senior investigator with the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society supports the SAFE Act, a bill that would ban the export of horses to slaughter for human consumption.

“In many cases you will see the stunner hit the horse five, six times before they are actually going down and staying down,” he said.

Sakach said California is one of the only states that bans shipping horses here. And yet in 2013 over 140,000 horses went to slaughter, and many of those horses came from California.

KPIX 5 couldn’t find Brown, but did meet up with his father, Billy Brown Sr. “There’s nothing to be said, instructions from the attorney, until its done,” he said. Then he proceeded to kick us out.

McEwen and his boss Sheriff Anderson said they are confident there will be a conviction, because Brown admitted using a fake name in the deal.

“He picked the name out of the phone book,” said McEwen.

But McEwen said the signature was just like Brown’s.

“It was painfully obvious that it had been forged. We asked him, ‘If this deal you are saying is legit, then why not use your own information?’” the detective said.

He said Brown told him that from selling horses in the past that he had aroused the suspicion of Canadian authorities. At one time or another they inquired why he was bringing so many horses to the facility.

Summer Rose Tex faces grand theft charges in the case. Her attorney said she never made any promises to the owner of the horses and had no idea they were going to go to slaughter. She is on administrative leave while the Department of Food and Agriculture investigates.

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26 replies »

  1. Long overdue, California.

    It is, however a start and a step in the right direction.

    What a heartbreaking story and typical slaughter scum.


  2. I could give a few well-known names (of horses AND PEOPLE) off a very well-known farm who did this to horses for over a decade, with help from a shipper too… while everyone looked the other way. Why? Because no one spoke up for those horses.


  3. I am so underimpressed. “And yet in 2013 over 140,000 horses went to slaughter, and many of those horses came from California.”.

    Law enforcement – what about enforcement does the hired by the taxpayers employees not understand?


    • This anti-transport, anti-slaughter law has been in place since 1998. And this is the first conviction? ObvioUsly, if a citizen paid by California Dept of Agriculture as a brand inspector feels she can circumvent the law by off the radar trading, the criminality of slaughter has infected even the agency enacted to oversee humane handling of animals.

      Just the fact the investigation, arrest and possible conviction is such big news tells us much. There is another kill buyer/broker who regularly ships hundreds of horses to New Mexico, calls them saddle horses which without his “knowledge” end up on the trucks into Mexico.

      Hopefully, these investigators have learned a bit more on how to track these slime ball criminals. Nice that it is an auctioneer who was nailed. Sort of like charging the bartender with manslaughter when his drunk customers drives away and ends up killing someone. If our society operated more in the black on the ethical scale, these issues would be settled. But since we teeter everyday on the precipice of moral banruptcy, perhaps this is reason to celebrate.


    • The government coffers are depleted by all those who shouldn’t even be here, who man the slaughter pipeline and illegal rodeos, etc. The government is staffed with PC police tasked with cementing the power structure by importing more voters who can be bought.

      Most racehorses are handed off to these below-the radar racetrack workers and vendors who make them disappear without much of a trace. As we watch the Belmont tomorrow…and hope genuine people with good hearts win this race…let us not forget HOW MANY racehorses line the path to the slaughterhouse…sent their by well-known trainers and owners.


  4. Way to go John Anderson!! Liars and Thieves Everywhere in horse business and food safety (inspection) business from coast to coast.


  5. What a horrible, horrible fate for these poor animals. I’m glad these people have been caught – just imagining the fear and suffering these horses must endure when confronted with people like these soulless two. 😦


  6. The trail of the horse follows a horrifying chain of deception. AGAIN that Glorifies the horse Thefts we talked of repeatedly in Illinois. The people changing identities is probably the Most telling parr. Bouvry having questions meaning knowledge and just ignoring it. The brand Inspector FDA lets visit the drugs in Horses issue with that one… And people Every State Including Illinois as we have in the Illinois Drpartment of Agriculture a woman who dates a kill buyer who manipulate tge system so I hope they cant manipulate it this time in CA. As well this brings new evidence these are NOT unwanted animals without places to go. However there could be multitudes of Missing stolen the pipeline doesnt want anyone to find and prosecute for. They close Slaughter and there will Be More Arrests for theft guaranteed. I theorize thats why this fight to open is as deceptive as it has been. Use this story to share to Senators we have to Pass SAFE ACT. Someone has to say NO More so it has to be US…


  7. We need more of this along with the shut down of the scam of the BLM they are using our tax payer money to remove our wild horses ..When we have hundreds of millions of acres for them!!!


  8. Sending horses to slaughter From CA. has never stopped since the CA. law has existed. We have the Kill buyers in No. Calif, out by Stockton, Bakersfield, the big kb down south easily loads up his trailer and heads over to AZ. and then down to Mexico. Glad this Bobby Brown was caught, and actually CHARGED with this crime. KB’s travel at night, and no one questions the load or the animals on the trailer.
    Horses disappear when leaving the race tracks, Black Jack left Bay Meadows years ago, never found. Last he was allegedly seen was in the hands of a KB.
    B & B auction,, was in the Sacramento news few years back an owner of many horses sent his horses thru this auction, and same owner had many charges of neglecting horses with dead ones on his property, they had the same fate as do most of the horses at CA. auctions. The law is not known by many authorities, and do not know how to enforce it. Other than that they would say, the law had no funds to enforce. The ” Road Toads” CHP, have no idea about the law; and if they had to check papers of horses leaving, they have no idea the parts of a horse in most cases. They could not just stop a load of horses, there had to be a violation to stop them.
    This law has been just one big failure, for oh so long. so many owners selling a horse are told the horse is in good hands, and the buyer would even take along a child to pretend the horse would be purchased for the kid. Until ALL the states ban horse slaughter, it is very hard to get the ban on transport of horses out of a state heading to slaughter. Paper work is falsified. Horses have been given a bad wrap in life.


  9. Great that these two individuals are getting their comeuppance!!! BUT sure does make clear that if an owner wants their horses to go to a retirement facility – he should make sure himself that they actually get there. Just goes to show that you cant trust anyone except yourself! Hope these two actually have to serve some time.


  10. Such a heartbreaking subject, to think for a second that anyone would ever do this to a horse, where on earth did people like this come can cite all the laws for excuses for why someone would get caught up in something like this but it comes down to being a very apathetic human, and to me, they are diseased predators, and should be no where near animals or children.


  11. MADERA COUNTY — Sheriff John Anderson announced this morning the arrest of a Brand Inspector for the California Department of Food and & AG, wanted for felony Grand Theft.

    The 27-year old Summer Tex of Madera turned herself in at 10:28 this morning. She’s accused of taking ownership of two older horses last summer, with a promise to place both in Pasture Buddy programs affiliated with Harris Ranch in Fresno County. Both horses were in good health when Tex took them into her possession.

    Summer Tex was booked into Madera County Department of Corrections. Her bail set at $60,000.00


  12. Please everyone get meetings with your State Reps, Urge them to co sponsor the SAFE ACT FOR HORSES, The Safe Act is STALLED in CONGRESS some say it will Never be even VOTED ON ?????????


  13. I was sent a email from Canadian Horse Defence Coalition this morning with some good news. it seems that Animals’ Angels(AA) sent word that Bouvry one of Canada’s horse slaughter plants has lost a large contract with Migros, one of Switzerland’s largest retail company and supermarket chain has decided to terminate its contract with Bouvry Exports and will no longer buy meat from the Canadian supplier. The decision was made after Migros was confronted again with horrific images from the Bouvry feedlots provided by Animals’ Angels and its Swiss partner organization Tierschutzbund Zuerich (TBS).

    The footage was obtained by AA and TBS in October of 2013 showed mares left to die and decompose inside the pen area as well as horses with apparent contagious diseases and severely overgrown hooves.

    The graphic pictures were the straw that broke the camel’s back – Migros had been monitoring Bouvry Exports very closely ever since AA’s 2012 exposure of substandard conditions & horses in severe distress at the company’s Canadian feedlots. This decision is a major loss for Bouvry Exports since Migros was one of their biggest customers and it is expected to result in a significant decrease of US horses shipped to slaughter.

    Well I know one thing the killers can’t sell horses to Bouvry unless Bouvry has a buyer for the horse meat. All of the killer buyers already know about this loss. If Animals Angel’s and their counterparts in Europe can stop the supermarkets in more country’s that eat horse meat it will put these slaughter plants out of business here and in Mexico because European countries also import horse meat from Mexico. I don’t know if Migros does or not. But this is damn good news too because it would stop the BLM from sending mustangs to slaughter too. No customer no slaughter.


  14. Thank you so much for the heroes of this story, especially Sheriff Anderson and Detective McEwen — and a special thank you to Elizabeth Cook for caring enough to bring this to the attention of the public. There are so many issues associated with horse slaughter. I am convinced that there are reasonable, affordable, ethical alternatives. Claude Bouvry and his soul-less cohorts will never turn away the millions of dollars per year that they make from killing our horses. We need to pass the SAFE Act. If your Senator or Representative did not sign up to sponsor the SAFE Act, then vote them out when their term is up. Call Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader at 202-225-4000. Tell him you support H.R. 1094, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013. The bill needs to move out of committee and be voted upon. Same thing in the Senate, where it is named S.541.
    Human life is at stake. California, please prosecute your law breakers to the fullest extent.
    And the rest of us, we won’t give up. “Animal Rights Activist” is not a dirty word as those who want to prey on animals for money would like the public to believe. Factory farms, Ag-Gag laws, horse slaughter. They are all driven by the politics of greed. There will always be Billy Ray Brown’s in the world, but we can catch them and give them the punishment they earned.


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