By Dawn Cranfield
Man Shoots Horse on Video, Mocks Animal Rights Activists
Tim Sappington of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is enraging people nationwide for shooting what appears to be a healthy horse in a video that first appeared online a year ago but resurfaced last week. Sappington, a self-proclaimed horse-meat eater, is shown on camera walking the horse towards the camera, patting it, then looking at the camera saying, “all you animal activists, f*** you,” before he shoots the horse in the head, killing it. (krqe.com)
Sappington asserts he is an employee of the controversial Valley Meat Company in Roswell, New Mexico. The provocative company has an application pending with the USDA to become the only horse slaughterhouse in the US.
If they receive the proper permits, Valley Meat Company would export horsemeat to other countries for human consumption. However, they have faced several challenges, in February 2012, an inspector was at the facility when “an employee using a .40 caliber pistol and a backup .410 shotgun failed to humanely kill an animal. None of the first four shots penetrated the skull. The USDA inspector on site immediately took regulatory action by tagging the knocking area, shutting down further slaughter operations.” (foodsafetynews.com)
The incident resulted in a suspension of Valley Meat Company’s beef slaughter inspectors for five days, and a further delay for their application for horse slaughter. They were required to provide written assurance as to how they would prevent further inhumane treatment of animals.
According to an email from the company’s attorney to News 13, they confirmed Sappington worked for Valley Meat as a maintenance man; however, they went on to state they felt his actions in the video were “crass”. (krqe.com)
The owner of the company, Richard De Los Santos, agreed, “I don’t condone that kind of stuff our company doesn’t condone that kind of stuff, he did this on his own at his house I guess and so we had nothing to do with it.” (krqe.com)
Nevertheless, people are taking out their anger and frustrations on De Los Santos regarding Sappington’s actions. The slaughterhouse has been receiving non-stop phone calls since the video has resurfaced. According to De Los Santos, some people have even threatened him, his family, and his business.
One voicemail he played for News 13 stated, “I hope he gets hit in the head and kicked and his children all die of the plague.” (krqe.com)
Wednesday, news came out that Valley Meat Company was one step closer to getting an inspection by the USDA for them to be able to start slaughtering horses; thus, rejuvenating interest in the video made by Sappington.
“‘I think the video is disgusting and vile, its (sic) designed to en-flame,’ said Laura Bonar with Animal Protection of New Mexico.” (krqe.com)