In a tragic twist, while representatives of the horse slaughter industry testified before Congress on July 27, an incident involving a truck packed with horses in appalling conditions belied their statements. Thirteen of the 19 horses crammed into the trailer were stallions--an apparent violation of transport regulations. The Mississippi vehicle blew two tires en route to the Beltex horse slaughter plant in Fort Worth, Tex., and driver Bryan Morgan pulled into a Texarkana tire shop for repairs. Soon after, GCR Tires employee Greg Fett called 911 to report the animals' poor state.
Nineteen citations for animal cruelty were initially written by local police, though the driver was still allowed to take the horses on to the slaughterhouse. Morgan, who was later revealed to be under the legal age to operate a commercial vehicle and without proper insurance, was eventually charged with five counts of Cruelty in Transportation under Arkansas state law. A bond in the amount of $1,125 has been set. Should he fail to pay the bond, trial will commence on Oct. 31 of this year. In addition to assisting in Morgan's prosecution, the Society for Animal Protective Legislation has filed a formal complaint with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) against Robbie Solomon, the owner/shipper of the horses, for violating several federal regulations regarding the commercial transportation of horses to slaughter.
Only two months later, a double-decker trailer transporting 43 horses to the Cavel horse slaughter plant in DeKalb, Ill. overturned while passing through Missouri. Seven horses were killed and nine had to be euthanized; 27 were rescued alive and are fortunately being held and cared for at the Humane Society of Missouri's Longmeadow Rescue Ranch and other facilities. The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody because of outstanding warrants. These two situations dramatically illustrate the brutality of the horse slaughter industry; we are now pressing Senators to stop this suffering by passing the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.
|Sequence of Events|
|Hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee
Hearing before the House Agriculture Committee