Based on AA’s previous research into Mike McBarron’s operations, we know him to be one of the largest kill buyers in the South. He ships approximately two loads/week to Presidio himself. In addition to his own personal business, McBarron has countless other horse traders under contract who deliver loads of horses to the export pens on his behalf.
McBarron has racked up multiple violations of the 9 CFR. In fact, $21.000 in fines have been issued for violations such as shipping a horse that was only able to hobble on three legs and mixing seven (7) stallions in a double deck shipment of forty-three (43) horses.
Our investigators arrived at McBarron’s property at 10:00 a.m. on July 13, 2014. The property is large and includes a private home and barns with a loading ramp and pen situated next to the house and an unused pasture towards the front. Investigators noted horses with slaughter tags/auction tags still attached in the pens towards the back. Several of the horses were very thin with ribs clearly showing. Another pen held burros and donkeys. Upon arrival, investigators immediately noticed a younger man on a tractor feeding the horses.
There was no shelter whatsoever for the horses despite the fact that old metal frames from what appeared to be former shelter construction were still in place over the pens. It would only take a tarp or canvas to complete the structure.
At 10:45 a.m., a white semi with a canvas covered stock trailer loaded with rejects from the export pens arrived at the property. The stock trailer was rusty and worn. The horses on board still had slaughter tags attached and a prominent red “X” painted on them. The horses appeared quite crowded into the trailer. A small burro was loaded into the back compartment along with full size horses making the risk of trampling very high.
The trailer backed up to the pen area and unloaded with the help of the younger man seen on the tractor previously. Investigators were dismayed to see the driver use an electric prod to unload the horses. In addition to this abuse, there was no ramp to assist the horses in unloading and they had to jump out of the stock trailer. Several of the horses were thin and limping.
The unloading was complete at 11:15 a.m. All of the horses/burros were able to walk off the trailer and there were no animals down. Although investigators observed the property for some time, there was no further activity. Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor this large scale kill buyer.