Investigators returned to the export pens to document if conditions had changed. Temperatures during the observation were unusually cold with temperatures as low as 17 degrees Fahrenheit. It was business as usual at the pens, all three export pens were accepting horse deliveries and especially the Brito pens appeared to be very busy. Investigators noted that a new set of pens was being built across the street from the Brito pens, likely to provide more room for the arriving horses. The Brito pens were very crowded on several occasions. A limited quantity of hay was available to the horses during early morning hours, leaving the horses without food for the rest of the day. Horses were observed searching the ground for food. Additionally, the metal water troughs inside the pens were documented completely frozen on one occasion, making it impossible for the horses to drink.
Several rejects, marked with a red “X”, were spotted inside the pens, indicating that these horses were returned to the pens a 2nd time for another attempt to export them to Mexico. Based on Animals’ Angels observations during this and earlier investigations at Socorro, Presidio, Eagle Pass and Morton, this seems to be a common procedure. Rejects are returned with their shipper and then shipped again a few weeks later. Some horses show traces of three or four different slaughter tag numbers, indicating that they were shipped and rejected multiple times.
Similar to earlier visits, dead horses were found at the C4 pens as well as the Baeza pens. C4 is still keeping most of the horses and conducting all his loading activity in the back of the premises, making it impossible to judge conditions and treatment. It was also noted that many trucks loaded with horses arrive in the middle of the night now.