Valley Meat Co. Purported Employee Shoots Horse Mocking Animal Rights Activists


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. (

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 Puerto_rican-Paso-Fino-Horse-chestnutinspector on site immediately took regulatory action by tagging the knocking area, shutting down further slaughter operations.”  (

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”. (

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.”  (

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.” (

usda-1Wednesday, 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.” (



5 Responses to "Valley Meat Co. Purported Employee Shoots Horse Mocking Animal Rights Activists"

  1. Raven   March 28, 2013 at 11:46 am

    To me, I don’t know….but he sure looks like a frustrated broke down cowboy. I mean really, to shoot a good horse, (unless this horse was sick or diseased already) just seems to be a bit of BS. If your mad at animal activists, well I know some real working ranch cowboys that would love to spend some quality time with you. If the horse was healthy, then the only other idea that justifies this hairy creep shooting a 2 year old horse as a “In your Face” to animal activists, is inbreeding. Yep!

  2. seeingthingscorrectly   March 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Some information on the Safe Act the Safeguard Americans Food Exports Act. Please also post the information on how to contact US legislators, Senators, Representatives, etc to get support across the Nation for this ACT. It will help everyone, it will BAN the Mexico and Canada Export and prevent all horses from slaughter. We can find other ways to handle the issues of euthanasia. I think that the personal property issue is irrelevant when someone has no idea of the severity of the horse slaughter industry’s effects can state that its their American right to kill their animals by slaughter. I think if these were cattle the conversation were be mute. But this is a highly difficult animal to kill by slaughter without them experiencing pain and cruelty through the whole process. They know when they see the horse in front of them get hit and the smells of the blood, they move a lot more because they know, it doesn’t take a behavior specialists to tell me why a horse moves, its not fight or flight, they don’t want that tool to touch their head-they hear the noise, smell the blood, they have two and two put together-some are just so well trained they don’t understand to resist and others know they just don’t want to die. These are NOT cattle, they have the comprehension to be trained and count and do highly skills tests, learn patterns, comprehend human language, repeatedly perform and even learn evasive maneuvering when needed to get out of situations. In other words, they have cognitive thinking and no matter how many Phd’s any behavior specialists has they cant get this information without being a life long trainer, the best vetting, handling, training, and hoof care comes from people who have ingrained the horse into every aspect of their life… so for someone to come in and say that horse’s can be slaughtered is a really true testament to how very little someone’s knowledge is of the horse. Equine’s are NOT meant for food and the oddities stories like they love it foreign countries-well apparently not that much, because they are finding it hidden in all their food sources and they are hopping mad about it. oh, yeah and we need to keep pointing out that racehorses are BANNED from all food chains except JAPAN, they refuse them in every other country-so we are NOT to slaughter them-but they still wind up illegally processed, I don’t want my child eating a burger and find out there’s bute in it and spend countless hours trying to save his life. This is a stress to everycountry. Please sign the Petition on change org under animals called Petition to Overturn the Legalization of the Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption. Call Congress send them links to this video ask them if this is what they want for our countries new poster.

  3. seeingthingscorrectly   March 26, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    We are really hoping to see more coverage on the anti-slaughter horse owners who are NOT activists who just don’t want to see the horse industry ravaged by the slaughter industry again. As well its really sad that they don’t see that this is wrong to do-that their actions are affecting others by reopening such a controversial business in America. We need to have horse people’s feelings heard. This is a sick and non-sensical type of work that doesn’t need to happen. We do not need to export horses and the Coalition that helped get the information for the 2011 GAO report is actually a PRO-slaughter faction. That’s not a non-biased report because there are no facts actually presented just estimations of data. A report specialists stated that the numbers are infrequent, inconsistent and make non reliable source of data able to be verified. There was no one who could provide actual facts from the Coalition they interviewed. Also the USDA and many other agencies don’t want to see a return to horse processing commercially. If you carefully read the “threat” you may also ascertain it’s more of a hex, you when someone is angry they say a hex or an expression, but that voicemail doesn’t really state anyone and anything will happen-so it’s kind of sad in both respects. The guy is blowing things out of proportion as well, which happens in these types of situations. So again its very sad-now for horse owners the worst part is they are trying to state that no horse owners are trying to stand up for the animals that they don’t want to die. Whats sad is that is not true, besides it doesn’t matter if they are horse owners or not when it comes to the European scandal I am sure those people many of which are not horse owners didn’t want horsemeat in their food.

  4. dawn7   March 26, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Other articles you might be interested in reading:
    Trying to Understand – Northern Nevada’s Wild Equine Struggles

    Horsepower – More than an Advocacy Group, an Organization Headed by the Heart of an Angel



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