Presidio Export Pen Investigation, TX 8/17/13-8/21/13

Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 15:45
Investigation Category: 

Animals’ Angels investigators visited the export pens in Presidio again to check how the situation for the horses has developed. They noted that the construction of the new pens had been finished and that they were ready for use. It was a busy week and the trucks of Dennis Chinn, Larry Anderton, George Baker, Western Livestock and Wayne R. West were observed delivering horses to the pens. The loading of Mexican trailers observed at the Ruben Brito pens was extremely difficult to watch. The handling was rough, unprofessional and cruel. The workers forced the agitated horses up the steep ramp by hitting them with ropes and sticks. One horse fell on the ramp and injured his leg. There was absolutely no regard for the welfare of these animals.

Our investigation started on a Saturday at the Brito pens. There was very little activity at the pens, only some empty MX transport trailers were parked on the premises. A group of approx. 25 horses was in the Brito pens and many of them were in deplorable condition. Investigators noted severe emaciation, eye infections, open wounds, missing eyes and swollen knees. One bay mare, slaughter tag # 6302, was extremely thin and appeared very weak. She was standing in an awkward position and tried not to move. Also visible was a chestnut with a profusely bleeding neck injury. Based on the slaughter tags visible, several of these horses were brought to the pens by kill buyers Dennis Chavez from Los Lunas, NM and M & M Livestock from Forney, TX. Public documents indicate that multiple horses from their transports were rejected by Mexican authorities during the previous week and likely were left behind to be picked up and returned with their shippers.

After documenting their condition, investigators checked the C4 export pens across the street. In close proximity of the pens, they found several horse skulls and a partial horse leg. Inside the pens, they spotted a group of horses, all in extremely poor condition. One of them had a horrific leg injury with bone exposure and was holding its leg up. The entire leg was swollen and the injury was covered in blood and pus. Two other horses in the pen also showed open wounds on their legs. Investigators immediately called the Presidio County Police to file a complaint regarding the condition of the horses observed.

When the police arrived they found the horses inside the pens as described. They ordered euthanasia of the horse with the horrific leg injury. The other horses were provided treatment of their injuries. Animals’ Angels urged Deputy Chief Nunez to file cruelty charges against the pen owners, since the pens have a history of letting animals in distress simply die. Unfortunately, Nunez refused since the pens had “complied immediately with all their requests”, ignoring the fact that improvement will likely never occur without punishment and incentive to change behavior.

Animals’ Angels will continue to increase pressure on both law enforcement as well as the export pens to monitor animal welfare and enforce regulations.