USA Today gave
national attention to the horse slaughter industry
in an October 31st
written by investigative reporter, Josh Peters. The in-depth article exposed the ruthless activities of kill buyer Mike McBarron, revealed the cruelty faced by innocent horses caught up in the horse slaughter pipeline, and
highlighted the tireless work
of Animals' Angels founder, Sonja Meadows, to advocate for the horses and end the slaughter.
Peters effectively begins his article with a gut-wrenching description of
a kill-buyer who's been in the slaughter industry for more than 30 years
. McBarron loads 37 horses onto a truck in Forney, Texas. The truck is headed for Mexico, where all the horses aboard will be slaughtered for human consumption.
Kill Buyer Mike McBarron (front) at Cleburne Auction
Peters asks McBarron how he feels about sending the horses off to slaughter, and McBarron callously says, "
It's just a job to me....I mean, I don't attach myself to them. I don't fall in love with them." Later McBarron,
who has generated millions of dollars as a kill buyer, attempts to justify his ongoing actions by saying he's "just trying to make a little money."
While the article shines a much-needed light on the miserable fate of thoroughbred racehorses, Peters points out that it isn't only racehorses that suffer outrageously from the practices of the slaughter industry. Peters reports that "an estimated
7,500 thoroughbreds a year are slaughtered for human consumption, according to Alex Waldrop, president of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA)" and that "so far this year, accounting for all breeds, more than
57,000 horses have been shipped for slaughter to Mexico and Canada from the United States, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data."
Peter's investigative report then turns to the efforts of Sonja Meadows, the founder of Animals' Angels and her quest to stop the slaughter industry's appalling abuse of innocent horses. To date, Animals' Angels has carried out
over 500 investigations on the horse slaughter industry and identified more than 40 large-scale kill buyers. Many of these investigations have
led to cruelty charges and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines against the offenders.
Describing in vivid detail the heroic efforts Sonja Meadows and her husband, Keith, have gone to in order to expose and report on abusers, Peter's article also highlights her role in getting the European Union to ban the import of horse meat from Mexico - a measure which resulted in the annual number of horses exported for slaughter to Mexico dropping dramatically, and the number is expected to fall again this year.
Sonja Meadows at EU Commission
Peters also explains that the
Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act
- legislation that would ban the transport and export of horses for slaughter - is currently pending before the US Congress. This is the first time that both horse slaughter and legislation that would end it have been featured in mainstream media, hopefully many of the
millions of USA Today readers will be outraged and moved to push for the passing of this important bill.
We encourage you to read the full USA Today article by Josh Peters, and to watch the compelling
of Sonja Meadows speaking about her experiences fighting the slaughter industry. Please also
this important story with your family, friends, and fellow animal advocates.