PETA Calls On Law Enforcement, Federal Agencies to Investigate, Asks University to End Sales of Unwanted Horses to Auctions Frequented by 'Kill Buyers'
For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2016
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Commerce, Texas – This morning, PETA filed complaints with the Hunt County district attorney and federal officials alleging violations of state anti-cruelty laws and federal regulations and guidelines in the neglect and 2014 fatal shooting of a pregnant horse at the Texas A&M University–Commerce Equine Center.
Documents obtained by PETA after a lengthy open-records fight reveal that a horse named Tina suffered for many months from a chronic and horribly painful hoof condition called laminitis, which made it difficult for her even to stand comfortably. Bones rotated through the soles of her feet. Although the veterinarian knew of her condition, she never received proper care and was bred despite her pain. In October 2014, a non-veterinarian who apparently had a gun on campus illegally shot Tina and cut out her foal for use in an equine reproduction class.
In the words of investigating university officials, the months-long neglect of Tina, who was a former Thoroughbred racehorse known as Oasis Storm and given to the university by a major donor, represents “a severe violation of veterinary care standards and is evidence of profound neglect by the A&M–Commerce animal care staff, attending veterinarian, and the [Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee].” University officials fired two employees over the incident but apparently did not report it to law enforcement or federal authorities that oversee the use of animals by educational institutions.
Documents also reveal that the university has been selling weanlings and other horses at a cattle auction where they are often purchased for slaughter in Canada and Mexico and that animals have even been sold through a website that sells surplus equipment.
“Tina desperately needed veterinary care, but instead, she was left in agonizing pain for months, forced to breed, and finally shot to death,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on the district attorney to investigate and press charges against all appropriate parties and asking the university to stop breeding horses rather than sell them to slaughter.”
PETA’s complaints are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.