Latest Investigation at Jason Fabrizius’ Feedlot Prompts Urgent Call to Pass the SAFE Act
This summer, Animals’ Angels conducted another in-depth undercover investigation at the feedlot of Colorado’s largest kill buyer, Jason Fabrizius.
Previous encounters with the notoriously cruel kill buyer had revealed an appalling pattern of animal abuse and neglect, so when our team returned to Colorado in June, we were dismayed but not surprised to find sick, injured, and emaciated horses in pens without any shelter.
This month’s newsletter is dedicated to exposing the kill buyer’s history of abuse, revealing the deplorable conditions found at his feedlot, and renewing our call for swift passage of the SAFE Act.
Enacting this long overdue legislation is vital if we hope to achieve our shared goal of finally ending the suffering and slaughter of horses for good.
A History of Abuse, Neglect, and a Very Big Fine
Over the years, our investigations of Fabrizius’ feedlot have revealed a heart-wrenching collection of sick and injured horses, some with clear signs of strangles, which is a highly contagious disease.
We’ve observed terribly emaciated horses covered in scars limping around pens that offered no shelter from Colorado’s brutal winter weather.
In addition, investigators documented multiple incidents of Jason Fabrizius hitting and whipping horses while screaming and cursing.
Fabrizius’ blatant disregard for his horses’ health and welfare eventually proved to be very costly. In 2018, the Fabrizius kill pen exposed hundreds of horses to Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), a deadly, highly contagious, incurable disease that affects horses, donkeys, and mules.
In November 2022, Judge Tierney M. Carlos determined that Fabrizius was responsible for shipping a horse infected with EIA across state lines along with fifty other horses who had been in contact with the EIA-positive horse.
As a result of this action, 293 horses in twelve states were potentially exposed to EIA, while state and federal officials had to spend hundreds of hours trying to locate the animals in question. Sixty-seven of these horses could never be traced, which means they could still be out there spreading the deadly disease.
In the end, the judge ordered Fabrizius Livestock to pay a hefty $210,000 civil penalty for violation of the Animal Health Protection Act and the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulation.
Latest AA Investigation
When Animals’ Angels returned to Colorado in in June, drone footage taken of the horses inside his lot showed that several of the animals were severely emaciated, had difficulty walking, and had advanced skin infections, while once again the pens offered no hint of shelter.
Then, shortly after our onsite investigation, the Animals’ Angels research team made another interesting discovery online while reviewing information on the website of a horse rescue. Several of the horses rescued and featured on the site appeared to be horses from the Fabrizius feedlot.
The details of the horses’ suffering and inevitable fate were revealed within the stories and the veterinary assessments that accompanied the photos. While the rescue did not mention the name of the kill buyer, Animals’ Angels investigators were able to identify Fabrizius’s property by the buildings that were shown in the photos.
One such horse was Luraina, who was described by her rescuers as a “lovely, sad mare” who had simply fallen into the wrong hands. Accompanying photos on the website and the rescue’s veterinarian assessment prove that Luraina had a traumatic leg and hoof injury which left her in excruciating pain. (Right hind severely deformed pastern and hoof, exostosis, difficulty walking)
An elderly gelding named Royal appeared to be a walking skeleton. The veterinary assessment revealed that he had no teeth and was unable to eat and therefore slowly starving when the rescue organization bought him from Fabrizius.
Justice, a gelding Fabrizius is suspected of selling to a sadistic Mexican tripping rodeo, was brought back to the kill buyer after obtaining devastating injuries. His left hind leg was swollen, infected, calcified, covered in proud flesh and likely broken at the fetlock joint.
Knightly, a kind and good-natured gelding was lingering in the lot with multiple debilitating injuries. Knightly’s veterinary exam indicated the following: greatly reduced range of motion right hind, muscle atrophy; severe carpitis right front, extremely reduced range of motion (at least 90% gone).
Sherry, a crippled mare in great pain, was completely unable to walk normally due to deformities in her limbs, particularly the front legs. She also had developed ringbone.
All these horses had to be humanely euthanized by the rescue to end their suffering.
The stories of these precious horses are truly heartbreaking and the only way to ensure other innocent animals won’t suffer the same sad fate is to stop the greedy operation of Jason Fabrizius and others like him for good.
Animals’ Angels will provide all the information from our feedlot visit and from the rescue’s website to authorities in charge.
We also urge our supporters and all animal advocates not to support this kill buyer’s operations by buying horses from him and perpetuating this cruel cycle.
Instead, we encourage our supporters and fellow advocates to share this newsletter with as many people as possible, inviting them to add their voices to those calling for the end to such senseless cruelty and slaughter through the passage of the Save America's Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act (S.2037/H.R.3475).
If passed, the legislation would prohibit the slaughter of U.S. horses and end their export for that purpose abroad by amending the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which passed as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The SAFE Act is supported by a wide range of animal advocacy groups, including Animals’ Angels, who have long called on federal lawmakers to pass a permanent ban on horse slaughter in the U.S. To add your voice to those calling for the SAFE Act’s passage as part of the upcoming Farm Bill, Animals’ Angels urges you to visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/2037, click on the “Contact Your Member” link, and ask your legislators to act now to end horse slaughter.