Animals’ Angels investigators recently returned to the different slaughter horse pens in Eagle Pass, TX to find out if the situation had improved since their last visit in September of 2012.
Upon arrival at the TDA pens at 7:15am, they noted the loaded trucks of FX Farms and Tres Trucking inside the premises. Shortly thereafter, a B & B Trading truck packed full with horses arrived from the Chula Vista pens and started to unload.
Animals’ Angels previously uncovered the fact that kill buyers apparently now deliver horses straight to the privately owned Chula Vista pens to avoid official paperwork and inspection at the TDA pens. B & B Trading handles any injured or dead horses, fills out owner/shipper paperwork and ships horses fit for export to the TDA pens, which allows these kill buyers to operate anonymously and without the risk of getting caught when delivering deador injured horses.
Animals’ Angels has informed the USDA slaughter horse transport program officials of this unacceptable arrangement, which aims to circumvent the minimal protection offered by 9 CFR Sec 88 and we have asked them to investigate.
Investigators monitored the activity of both pens for several days and found the situation unchanged: The Mexican trailers used to pick up horses in the afternoon were still unacceptable, again “homemade” trailers with tiny air holes, trailers with broken sides and sharp elements inside the trailers were documented. Trailers were overloaded and still parked for hours loaded with horses in the burning sun before crossing the border. Several very thin horses and horses with injuries were noted.
On 8/22/13, Investigators observed an Ortiz truck (DOT 2401768 – currently no operating authority) load at the TDA pens. The truck was suspicious, as it loaded horses with USDA slaughter tags extremely early in the morning. Investigators noted at least 7 horses with BLM freeze brands among the ones loaded, as well as many emaciated horses. The loading finished at 9:45 am and the truck left the pens and started to head north. The truck passed by the exit for the Chula Vista pens and continued his journey out of town. Due to the fact that investigators had to hold a police training in Eagle Pass the next morning, they were unable to follow the truck. However, it is suspected that he was heading to the Presidio export pens.
Animals’ Angels has reported all these findings to USDA, DOT, and local law enforcement and is currently trying to determine the identity of the BLM branded mustangs.