Tag Archives: feedlot

Hitting Kill Buyers In The Pocketbook

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Death came to this horse after agony and fear. How many other horses have been subjected to this new form of “euthanasia” – injected with amphetamines until they are allegedly flipped over backwards? After all his suffering, his bladder was then cut out of his body post-mortem, likely to avoid collection of illicit substances.

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Everyone knows that abuse, neglect, and disease are embedded in the trading of horses by unscrupulous buyers and flippers, beginning with the kill buyer and ending with the killing process.   But despite the number of sick or suffering feedlot and broker horses documented on Facebook, few purchasers contact authorities to report abuse, neglect, or contractual fraud.  Some people even choose to protect the kill buyer while praising him (or her) in being so kind as to offer to sell them the horse in the first place.  Quite understandably, many people may reasonably be afraid of further alienating the kill buyers and brokers and being unable to purchase more horses. But in March, two plaintiffs initiated a civil litigation against kill buyer Don Nowlin of Washington-based Outwest Livestock, alleging the torturous September 2016 death of “Brad Pitt”, an approximately 20-year-old thoroughbred stallion they purchased in August of that year.

In the Statement of Claim, the plaintiffs alleged that the conditions at the feedlot were heart-rending – horses “bore significant injuries, such as fist-sized scabby wounds, a pregnant mare bleeding from her vagina, a horse with a broken leg and overgrown hooves…”   Before the plaintiffs could collect Brad Pitt, they were told that he had broken his back leg and was “put down” via a “cocktail” and “hit the ground” within thirty seconds, all evidently without veterinarian oversight.   The plaintiffs had the forethought to insist upon taking the remains of the horse with them after being notified of his death, so he was hauled out of the bushes where he lay decomposing, and loaded into a U-Haul for a necropsy.

Above is a strictly professional, notarized message from Facebook lawyer/kill buyer Don Nowlin from 2016 (previously unnoticed by me). For some reason he objects to my screen-shotting his Facebook page showing that he was following various cock fighting groups. https://heatherclemenceau.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/kill-buyers-faux-rescues-and-cockfighters-oh-my/

The homemade amphetamine concoction (see necropsy and toxicology report) alleged to have been injected into the stallion by layperson Nowlin certainly wasn’t one of the two recommended forms of euthanasia, namely barbiturate overdose with sedation or shotgun.  Amphetamines  stimulate the nervous system – breathing and heart rate speed up and energy levels and anxiety may be increased.  Amphetamines are controlled substances in the US and are sometimes used in the manufacture of other illicit drugs.  These drugs are banned across racetracks internationally because they can excite an animal to a degree to which they are uncontrollable and are very likely to hurt either themselves or anyone near them. They certainly have no business being injected into a horse. It does not appear that the “euthanasia” drugs administered actually killed Brad Pitt outright either, since the cause-of-death was determined to be traumatic injury to the central nervous system due to fractured cervical vertebra.

The most soul-crushing aspects of this case are the injuries to Brad Pitt, which are described in Sean Tuley DVM’s report, and expanded upon by Victoria L. Smith DVM.

Findings by Tuley Equine Sports Medicine:

“Grossly, Brad Pitt, was covered in flies, as well as dried mud, he had multiple excoriations as well as impalements covering his entire body. No evidence of predation by scavengers was evident. A post mortem evisceration was most notable beginning at the left paralumbar fossa, extending ventrally, through the perineum and ending 6 cm short of the anus. The wound was deep to the pelvic floor, created via sharp dissection and showed no evidence of bleeding or bruising. This wound was created post-mortem.

The left hind pelvic limb was completely luxated and was only attached by the gluteal muscles and dorsal skin. On the ventral sagittal abdomen at intercostal 17 an eviscerating lesion of 4 cm was present. A deep puncture wound on the medial left radius of 10 cm was noted. Located on the left lateral antebrachium a sharp excision of 12 cm was noted.

The left elbow joint was completely dislocated. Blunt force trauma, with dried stained blood was present near the lateral canthus of the right eye. The gum tissue was hyperemic and a vesicular lesion on the gum tissue was consistent with aggressive use of a lip chain war bridle. On gross appearance the cervical vertebrae appear to be luxated. Upon sharp dissection, a large hematoma approximately 8 cm in diameter appeared deep to the Splenius mm. and dorsal to the longissimus mm. near the C6-C7 junction. Upon further dissection the Cervical joint between C6 and C7 was completely luxated.  This appears to be an antemortem finding.”

Dr. Tuley  continues….

“In four years of veterinary school, performing routine necropsies, and 6 years of private practice-having now euthanized over 50 cases personally, (this figure does not include my training at WSU-VTH or with Traber Bergsma Simkins inc., where significantly more euthanasias and necropsies were performed) I have yet to see an animal present so poorly, in as bad of condition as I saw Brad. Injuries stemming from the lip chain, battered right eye and broken neck, all occurred while Brad was still alive. These findings are evident by the fact that bleeding and other signs of inflammation were present. Given the presence of multiple eviscerations and leg dismemberment, even after death, Brad was not treated with much regard.”

Findings by Victoria L. Smith DVM

  • Blunt force trauma to the right side of the head and right eye. Aggressive use of lip chain
  • Left elbow completely luxated and spinal cord trauma possibly caused by a rotational fall at high speed or by the horse rearing up and falling backwards
  • “Severe intentional penetrating injuries to the horse post-mortem”
  • “An incision had been made into the abdominal cavity, eviscerating the horse, sharply luxating the left pelvic limb, and the bladder had been removed.”
  • “The horse Brad Pitt’s injuries are consistent with intentional and painful abuse by a human.”

Dr. Smith’s comments suggest that the horse may have been “drugged with intravenous amphetamines via an aggressive lip chain to restrain the head during injection.  Dr. Smith explored the possibility that, for cruel sport, someone proceeded to rope Brad Pitt’s forelimbs, “tipping the horse and causing a rotational fall which luxated the elbow and luxated the cervical vertebrae.  The horse’s eye and perioribital area could have been injured by a closed fist or by self-trauma, as a frantic, traumatized, painful horse may slam his head into the ground in terror. “

Below is a copy of the Complaint filed against Donald Nowlin and Outwest Livestock in Yakima County Superior Court concerning the torture and killing of Brad Pitt, an approximately 20-year-old thoroughbred purchased by Rebecca Thorley and Monica Baxter in August 2016. This document contains the allegations and claims made against Nowlin, et al. The plaintiffs are also suing for severe emotional distress and the recovery of actual damages and out-of-pocket expenses.

The sharing of the Amended Complaint and Tuley/Smith reports was done with the permission of  Adam P. Karp Esq,   All documents are public records. Documents originally posted on the “Justice for Brad Pitt Thoroughbred” Facebook page.

Amended Complaint filed April 4, 2017

 

 

Necropsy reports prepared by Sean Tuley, DVM and Victoria Smith, DVM.

 

 

“Did Brad experience stress and anxiety while under the influence of these illicit compounds? Did Brad experience pain and suffering while accumulating these ante mortem injuries? My visceral reaction is yes on both instances. However, I cannot conclude for how long the suffering endured.” Sean Tuley, DVM

Americans who threaten to sue Canadians will be told that they must have sufficient assets within the jurisdiction (Canada) as security for costs BEFORE proceeding with the action. The amount that would need to be posted is equal to the attorney’s fees and any awards that the defendant might receive if and when they prevail in the action.
In any case, truth is a defense against libel.

Who cannot relate to the anguish that Brad Pitt’s owners felt not only in discovering that he was dead, but how he died? Imagine collecting his body in the condition described in the necropsy report – and later reading how he was purported to have been killed. Not only was there a lack of care given to him – he is alleged to have been deliberately abused. Do any of Nowlin’s feedlot horses end up at the “horse tripping” establishment next door to him where they are “smoked” (roped by their back legs)?  What do you think?  I say,  if you can’t put them in jail, you take their money. Civil lawsuits act as an important tool because fighting them requires time and money that could be used for other purposes – like collecting horses to be killed.

I know there is a very good argument for continuing to deal with unscrupulous people in order to get horses off lots like this. All horses in peril deserve saving regardless of where they have landed, but please don’t facilitate these horrors by providing kill buyers with this lucrative revenue stream.  By making kill buyers more profitable, we are guaranteeing they will stay in business and more of them will pop up.  Save your money by buying locally and preventing a horse from ending up going to an auction in the first place; there are needy horses everywhere that you can actually lay your eyes on, and they deserve help too.  No, the truck is not coming for broker horses – it already left and they weren’t on it.  The slaughter truck came for a horse that you never saw.

 

 

If you are interested in helping and want your money to make a difference, you may donate to support the Friends of Brad Pitt.

Donations will be used for legal bills related to the civil suit.

 

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Can We Regulate Horse Slaughter Into Extinction?

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Yahena-Pasha-Horse-Paintings-3Written by:  Laura Bell (reproduced with permission)

Artwork by: Yahena Pasha

If horse slaughter continues, and if slaughterhouses that slaughter horses re-open in the United States, and to PREVENT taxpayers from paying even ONE PENNY for inspections by the USDA, here is a list of requirements I put together that would close a lot of loopholes for people in the slaughter business so they would NOT be able to continue to operate unethically and illegally.

Might be difficult to enforce, however, if we taxpayers demand that they be followed, perhaps with our majority numbers we could either shut down the horse slaughter industry here in the US (because quite frankly, as a business owner myself, I’m beyond tired of horse slaughter dealers ALWAYS operating outside the law in terms of business licensing, maintaining commercial insurance, getting finger printed and background checked like I have to do, etc–NO MORE FREE RIDES FOR THESE LOSERS!) or we can force them to spend money in order to operate legally and not have we taxpayers be forced to pay for their businesses.

These rules and regulations would also protect horse owners who would never in a million years ship a horse to their horrific death by slaughter from from being forced to abide by the same rules as proposed by the NAIS and other restrictive and controlling agencies our government is trying to force down the throats of ANY horse owners, including those of us who are completely ANTI-HORSE SLAUGHTER, for food chain animals as those who deal directly or indirectly in horse slaughter and are horse slaughter dealers:

1.  Anyone who deals in horse slaughter, be it a breeder, a kill buyer, an owner, a rancher, a transporter, a slaughterhouse owner, a trainer, etc, will have to secure and pay for a Dealer’s License, complete with background checks, finger printing, fee’s, etc. Seriously, when I sold 3 cars and a horse trailer in a month, I was contacted by entities (the county I live in regarding a business license and the taxation board) that said I needed to get a Dealer’s license even though I really was a private party seller. Why shouldn’t people dealing and making a living with horse slaughter have to secure a Dealer’s license, complete with an IRS filing, and have all of their own rules, regulations and requirements separate from the rest of us horse people who don’t deal in slaughter? Also, MANY people involved in horse slaughter are convicted felons, are often on parole, have wYahena-Pasha-Horse-Paintings-6arrants out on them, have issues with their drivers licenses (suspended, revoked, need an SR-22 filing, etc), so many people will NOT get finger printed and/or have background checks performed because they are afraid they will end up in jail.

2.  Anyone dealing in horse slaughter will be required to carry COMMERCIAL liability business insurance with at least 1 million dollar liability limits, AND will also be required to pay for and carry COMMERCIAL vehicle insurance with the higher limits. MOST of the people involved in slaughter use their regular stock trailers for towing horses around locally (before the horse is shipped to a slaughter facility and usually transported with 10 or more horses), however, if an at-fault accident occurs and their insurance carrier finds out the accident occurred while their vehicles were being used for business/commercial purposes, any claims will be denied/declined by the claims adjuster. I know this because my husband was an insurance broker for 30 years and just buying a horse at the kill sale which will be shipped to slaughter and driving them home in the smaller stock trailer is considered by the insurance company to be business/commercial use of the vehicle if it is investigated and found to be a business the individual is operating using statutory vehicle insurance instead of commercial insurance (rates are A LOT higher for commercial), then the claim will be denied.

3. Because the stakes are a bit higher when it comes to horse slaughter and shipping possibly tainted horse meat and sickening and/or killing people, anyone dealing in horse slaughter will have to carry General Liability Insurance to cover possible claims, and also prosecution for dealing in tainted horse meat.

4. For the breeders (and this includes the ranch breeding programs of which we are seeing 100′s of pregnant mares, open broodmares, young stock, and old ranch horses who can’t “do” anymore sold directly to the feedlot we have been doing weekly rescues from and it is heart breaking and disgusting because we are only offered a few to rescue and the rest ship to slaughter), who regularly “breed and dump” horses at the kill sales and/or ship directly to slaughter, they will be required to microchip and/or freeze or hot brand their horses to be able to identify them when they go to slaughter. When one of their horses goes through, the horse will be held, the breeder will be contacted and will be required to provide an entire record from birth of the horses vaccination records, drug records, dewormer and supplements records, other “additives” records, etc. Every person that has owned that horse between the breeder and when they end up at the slaughterhouse will also be required to provide documentation/records on the horse as well. If these records are not provided, the horse cannot be slaughtered and must be humanely euthanized and disposed of at the sellers’ expense.

5. Also for the breeders, they wiYahena-Pasha-Horse-Paintings-2ll have a quota of the number of horses they can produce every year (like what they have in many European countries, where they breed higher quality horses because they are breeding for quality instead of quantity) and if they go over their quota, they will be taxed/fined for every horse over the quota.

6. Anyone dealing in slaughter horses will have their own required Bill of Sale stating that the horse is either free of drugs, vaccines, dewormers, additives, etc, or they are not, and they will be required to sign with copies going to their State, the Buyer, one for them, and a copy goes to the Federal government. This will enable a horses ownership, drug, and additive record to be more precisely traced. And although I do know people are always yapping about “less government”, I’ve also noticed that these same people always want less government when it doesn’t benefit them, but more government when it does. This slaughter Bill of Sale will also differentiate the people who deal in horse slaughter from other horse people who do not, and will keep the anti-horse slaughter people from being subjected to rules, laws and regulations like the NAIS that not only cost us money, but also infringe on our private non-business/non-slaughter ownership of horses when we are not putting any horses into the food chain with drugs and other additives in their systems. Those of us who are in fact anti-horse slaughter should never be targeted just because other horse people choose to deal in horse slaughter.

7. The seller of the horse going to slaughter will also pay an inspection fee at the slaughterhouse so that we taxpayers don’t have to.  Anyone sending a horse to slaughter will be required that THEY pay for a blood test to test for drugs and other “additives” in the horses system, and the horse will be held until the results of the blood test come back. If the horse is found to have drugs or other additives in their system and paperwork has been signed saying they were clean, not only will the seller have to pay for humane euthanasia and disposal of the horses body AT the facility they are at, than the person performing the fraudulent actions will be: *First time offense-fined, *Second offense-fined and suspended from selling horses to slaughter for 1 year, *Third offense-prosecuted as a repeat offender in fraudulent activities, possibly jailed, and their licensing is permanently revoked as a Dealer.

In closing however, if all anti-horse slaughter people banded together and without going on witch hunts began systematically finding out who the SUPPLIERS are that are selling horses by the trailer loads at kill sales, directly to feedlots, and often taking the horses directly to the slaughterhouse (which will happen a lot if horse slaughter houses are re-opened in the United States) and PUBLICIZE who the CHEATERS are who use horse slaughter as their very own FREE disposal system, then the OPPORTUNISTS like De Los Santos would NOT have nearly enough horses to slaughter and make a profit from.Yahena-Pasha-Horse-Paintings-1

As long as we have SUPPLIERS of horses into the slaughter pipeline, there will ALWAYS be OPPORTUNISTS to take advantage of the SUPPLY of horses, mules and donkeys that will make their money off of them being slaughtered. If we stop the major supply and flow of horses, mules and donkeys into the slaughter pipeline, then the OPPORTUNISTS would not make enough money to warrant staying in business and they would find opportunities elsewhere.

MANY of the people that dump horses for FREE at kill sales, feedlots and slaughterhouses DO NOT want anyone to know who they are, where they live, etc, so targeting them for exposure to their friends, family, business associates at their “real jobs” and also business associates in the horse world in horse racing, showing in many events (including high dollar hunter/jumpers AND dressage too), other breeders, trainers, owners, etc, who are anti-horse slaughter and who actually behave responsibly and don’t breed too many and also have the horses that can’t “do” anymore humanely euthanized, etc. would force MANY of them to stop supplying horses into the slaughter pipeline because they REALLY DO NOT WANT people to know who they are and what they are doing (cheating in a horrific way)…..sure, a lot of people have put together lists of who the kill buyers are, however, the kill buyers are OPPORTUNISTS and most simply don’t care if people know they are kill buyers.
But the SUPPLIERS? MOST of them do NOT want people to know who they are and that they dispose of horses to slaughter for FREE like the cheaters they are……THAT would ruin the public image for many of them (the ones who run in the upper class circles who have money and would not want someone to turn to them at a dinner party and say “I hope it’s not true, but I heard you dispose of your horses to slaughter which is very inhumane and cruel, is it really true you do that?” Now THAT would be a priceless series of videos to take and post on YouTube when the suppliers are asked questions like that!)

Yahena-Pasha-Horse-Paintings-7If it was actually added up how much the SUPPLIERS are SAVING when they DO NOT pay for humane euthanasia AND disposal of the horses body and instead PAY NOTHING by selling to the feedlots and kill sales and actually are PAID for their horse by-the-pound which varies depending on the area of the country but are still them receiving money, I think that not only would people be astonished by who much these cheaters save, but I KNOW that if the suppliers were exposed and stopped doing what they’re doing instead of getting our government to go along with THEM and force the rest of us horse owners to abide by rules set forth by agencies like the NAIS that have nothing to do with we ANTI-slaughter horse people, there would NOT be enough horses supplied for the opportunists to stay in business.

Laura Bell
http://www.thestarlightsanctuary.org
http://www.starwoodfarm.com