Animals’ Angels just received good news from USDA’s Office of the Administrative Law Judges: After several years with no decisions, a judge decided on June 5, 2019 to fine Gary Bigelow $11,700.00 for violating the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulation. Bigelow was found guilty of transporting 48 horses destined for slaughter in Mexico in a double deck trailer. Additionally, investigators found a non-segregated stallion among the other horses and also determined that none of the horses had the required USDA backtag or health certificate.
The horses were loaded in Emmitt, ID and shipped to Muleshoe, TX, which is a 1216-mile-long trip that takes approx. 21 hours. Muleshoe is the home of long time kill buyer Gary Morris, who still is shipping horses to Mexico on a regular basis. It is likely that these horses were headed to his collecting station, unloaded and then reloaded for the export to Mexico.
Double deck trailers were banned for transporting slaughter horses several years ago, because they do not offer the horses enough height to stand in a normal position. Horrific injuries were common when they were still in use. It is all the more upsetting that Mr. Bigelow chose to use one of these cruel trailers to ship these 48 horses and even went so far to include a stallion in the mix. While we are grateful to finally see some enforcement of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulation, the fine does not seem high enough compared to the suffering these 48 horses endured.
Read the decision here...