In The Media
New Holland, PA – A severely abused horse was brought to the New Holland Sales Stables to be sold at the weekly horse auction on March 21. The horse had hooves so long they were curling up, one of its eyes was so infected it was swollen shut, and the entire horse was covered with lice. An auction worker noticed investigators with Animals’ Angels documenting the horse’s condition. The worker grabbed the horse, led it to the back, shot it, and the horse was dumped in a large dumpster. Animals’ Angels reported “It is also concerning that action was taken only when auction workers realized that the horse had been seen by investigators, at which point it was shot rather than being attended to by a vet.”
We want to thank Gina McKnight, an animal advocate and talented author who contributes to a variety of publications, for writing this wonderful article about AA’s Founder and Director, Sonja Meadows which originally appeared in the magazine Florida Equine Athlete, and can now be found at Ms. McKnight’s own popular blog Riding & Writing.
We greatly appreciate the awareness that Ms. McKnight can bring to the issue of horse slaughter as well as her ability to illustrate the very purpose behind Animals’ Angels – why we do what we do. To help protect the animals – seek justice for those who have been neglected or abused – and create change for those who have yet to enter the pipeline.
We’re glad to see that the issue of horse slaughter is getting notice in a reputable publication such as the San Antonio Express-News. It is especially necessary to raise awareness of the stark realities of the horse slaughter pipeline to the audience in Texas where the export pens are located. Kudos to journalist John MacCormack for doing a story on this very important issue.
We were gratified to see our work in the EU recognized as we have worked diligently on our EU Campaign for quite some time. “We flew to Brussels and I met with the European Commission myself,” said Sonja Meadows, founder of the Maryland-based group.
It was also heartening to see that the facts about slaughter as well as the truth behind the conditions at the Presidio export pens were also accurately portrayed in the article.
“The Presidio slaughter horse export pens in Texas have a long, sordid history of violating environmental laws, illegal carcass dumping and animal cruelty,” Animals’ Angels wrote in one recent assessment.
Animals’ Angels, an investigative agency dedicated to animal rights, has released their findings from a two-year investigation into “killer buyer” Mike McBarron of Forney, TX.
The organization alleges that McBarron, owner of M and M Livestock and M and M Farms (a trucking company), has repeatedly violated The Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Act. Additionally, they documented poor conditions at McBarron’s Forney collecting station.
The blood farms where PMSG is collected are located around the world, often tucked away and secretive. “It’s a very hidden, secretive industry,” says Sonja Meadows of Animals’ Angels. “The donor herds are kept away from the public view, in very rural and remote areas that are almost impossible to access.” The Animals’ Angels/ Tierschutzbund investigation took them to South America where they investigated Syntex S.A., a major producer of horse serum with locations in Argentina and Uruguay.
The 2015 Equus Film Festival in New York last month was an amazing event and Animals’ Angels was thrilled to attend. It was exciting to meet so many dedicated advocates, all fighting for the same important cause – to end the slaughter of our horses once and for all. In addition to having participated in or provided extensive footage for three outstanding films included at this year's Equus Film Festival (Saving America's Horses, Kill Pen, and Their Last Ride), Animals’ Angels was also a member of The Horse Defenders’ Panel. We appreciated this wonderful opportunity to discuss our horse slaughter investigations in front of a highly interactive audience. It’s imperative to reach out to new audiences and seasoned advocates alike in every possible venue. For anyone who would like to see and hear the Panel discussion, just follow the link below for the video.
Sonja Meadows, founder of Animals’ Angels, an animal welfare group that conducts equine slaughter investigations throughout North America – including one involving Moore’s auction in Lebanon, Pennsylvania--said kill buyers across the U.S., doing exactly what Moore does, cash in on the animal-loving public which envisions happy endings for all horses. Meadows urges anyone thinking about rescuing a horse from slaughter to go to an auction and bid against the kill buyers or donate to a reputable, non-profit rescue dedicated to caring for abused and neglected horses.
Keith and Sonja Meadows, a husband-and-wife team from Westminster, Md., founded Animals’ Angels. Traveling exhaustively and obsessively through rural America, Canada, and Mexico, they infiltrate livestock auctions and slaughterhouses, surreptitiously recording diseased and abused animals and posting the videos on the Internet, along with detailed investigative reports.
The Meadows’ work has made them important figures in the emotional debate over horse slaughter in the United States. Their exposé of a horse auction in New Mexico created a statewide uproar that pushed the attorney general and the legislature into taking a stand against a proposal for a new slaughterhouse.
We have some great news to share with everyone -- the Swiss retailer ALDI, a grocery chain that is well known all over the world, has informed Animals' Angels and our coalition partners that they will no longer carry horse meat products in their stores. A large vendor, the Aldi chain had a contract to obtain their horse meat products from the Canadian plant in Richelieu, Quebec, so this is another blow to the Canadian horse slaughter industry. Aldi's decision was made as a direct result of our EU campaign where footage from AA’s trailing of a load of horses from kill buyer Bruce Rotz to Richelieu in January was shown. Aldi was the last of the Swiss retailers to fold -- we're thrilled to say that now ALL Swiss retailers have stopped selling American horse meat. Aldi's has advised us that they will sell off the horse meat products that are still in their Swiss stores now, but they will not order anything new. This is excellent news for our horses indeed!
They are idols of the American West, heros of cowboy movies and children's stories, such as "Black Beauty" and "My Friend Flicka," and a national audience will cheer their speed and power at this weekend's Kentucky Derby. Neverless, until recently, we slaughtered horses in this country for food -- not for domestic consumption, because few Americans eat horsemeat, but for export to Europe and Asia where their meat is considered a delicacy. The practice ceased to exist here in 2007 and -- despite an effort to revive it in the past year -- remains illegal because Congress has withheld funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect horse slaughterhouses. The prohibition is tenuous, and depends on Congress holding back resources from the USDA each year. Still, the tide of public opinon in the U.S. has turned against horse slaughter.