The Montana Department of Livestock certainly knows how to keep things interesting: Last week, just 5 hours after our release about the apparent lack of official inspections at the Shelby feedlot, two more 2018 inspection reports were mailed to Animals’ Angels inbox. Supposedly, after reaching out to “everyone involved with inspections”, the additional reports were detected.
However, to date, every inspection conducted at the Shelby feedlot in the last few years was carried out by Mike Hayes. Shouldn’t this individual have all inspection records readily available for review? More importantly, since these reports apparently were “missing”, did anyone even check
a) if inspections were even being conducted and
b) what the inspector found during his visit?
However, there are even more concerns: According to the Memo of Understanding, the Bar S Feedlot is required to maintain a death log, in which the death of any horse has to be recorded as well as the method of disposal. The death log has to be made available to DOL inspectors upon request. Animals’ Angels has informed the Department of Livestock that we are concerned about the number of deaths at the feedlot, since our investigators found a dead horse every time they visited. We requested a copy of the death log and/or information regarding how many horses died in 2018. Our request was denied, and the answer given was that “unless there is reason for concern, the death log has not been reviewed by our inspectors”. In other words, the Department of Livestock does not know how many horses die at the Shelby feedlot each year – which is completely unacceptable.
Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor the situation and has urged the Department of Livestock to increase inspections to 12/year as well as review the death log on a regular basis.