The Animals’ Angels inspectors observe the loading of one of Leroy Baker’s trucks. 43 horses, destined for slaughter in Mexico, are loaded onto two decks. Federal regulations outlaw trucks with two levels for transporting horses, since the animals are forced to hold their heads low during the entire transport. But – the protection of the regulation applies only to transport directly to a slaughter facility. All other transport, like in this case to a collecting station, is excluded from the protection.
The inspectors follow the truck and its solo driver all the way to Morton, TX. The 1460 mile trip took 34 hours and 15 minutes. The inspectors document the entire journey. Not once were the horses given any water. The driver more than tripled the 11 hours a truck driver is legally allowed to drive, putting public safety at risk.
In addition, federal law limits the maximum transport time for an animal to 28 hours. After that, it has to be unloaded and given at least five consecutive hours to rest, with access to food and water.
Upon arrival at the Morton collecting facility (Sunday morning 3.35am), the truck immediately backs up to the loading ramp. One horse is down in the trailer.
The Animals’ Angels inspectors call the Morton police station. Officer Rodriguez, who arrived 10 minutes later, informs the inspectors that there is nothing he can do since the truck is on private property and he is not DOT certified. Furthermore, the inspectors are told to leave the premises.
Animals’ Angels will file complaints for the violation of the 28 hour law and Federal Motor Carrier regulations.