Animals’ Angels investigators have once again gone undercover to Forney, Texas to observe and report on the McBarron Feedlot, which is operated by Mike McBarron, the largest kill buyer in Texas. McBarron, who sells horses to Mexico for slaughter on a weekly basis, and who has accumulated a staggering list of violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations, continues to shock us year after year with his blatant cruelty and disregard for the suffering horses he callously buys and sells.
As part of our ongoing efforts to hold McBarron accountable for his shameful actions, our investigators arrived at the feedlot at 10:00 AM on July 31st, and immediately observed that the lot held considerably fewer horses than it had during our previous visits. It soon became obvious that the horses apparently had been divided into two groups. One group seemed to consist of horses intended for resale through McBarron’s broker program, while the other group contained horses destined to be shipped straight to slaughter.
The poor horses tagged for slaughter were kept in uncovered pens at the back of the lot with no shelter or respite from the blazing July sun and 98° temperature. Workers had tossed hay onto the manure covered ground of the pens but hadn’t even bothered to remove the netting. Our investigators noted several thin horses with their ribs showing, a bay gelding that was limping, and a grey gelding that was extremely lethargic, appearing too weak to lift his weary head.
While the miserable horses in the back pens suffered in the sun, other horses were being groomed and photographed in covered pens in the middle of the lot. These were the horses that had been selected for McBarron’s broker program, which offers up horses for sale online, and which likely makes McBarron most of his money now that the overall number of horses sent to Mexico for slaughter is decreasing.
As our investigators watched horse trailers arrive to load up the brokered horses, the glaring differences between the condition and treatment of the brokered horses compared to the horses fated for slaughter were painfully obvious. Further angered by the knowledge that the money McBarron earns from his broker program will inevitably be used to fund his other activities, including his slaughter business, our team left with renewed determination to continue monitoring and reporting on McBarron in the future.