A contractor at a New Mexico slaughterhouse hoping to resume horse slaughter has taunted animal activists by shooting a horse dead in a video posted on YouTube.
“All you animal activists, f*** you,” he says, before taking a handgun and shooting the animal dead with a single shot.
However, the maintenance worker, Tim Sappington, may soon have to extend his displeasure to the European Union, with news that American horse meat may struggle to reach EU markets.
Sappington is a contractor with Valley Meat Co, which hopes to start horse slaughter operations within weeks.
The shooting by Sappington has sparked outrage among animal welfare advocates, who have gone online to vent their fury.
Rick De Los Santos, a part-owner of Valley Meat Co, told local media he had received hate calls and death threats since the video went online.
“I didn’t have anything to do with that video. That’s the honest truth.”
De Los Santos said the animal had been shot by Sappington in his own time and at his own home, adding: “He shot a horse. That’s what he eats. It’s not against the law to slaughter your own horse.”
Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon told reporters the shooting was being investigated to determine whether it amounted to animal cruelty. His office was assisting the New Mexico Livestock Board in its inquiries.