Tim Sappington, Valley Meat Contractor, Films Himself Shooting Horse

23 Mar

Hoping to “send a message to Animal Rights activists”:

#Thesepeoplereallyhavenoshame/ #Can’twaittoseewhatALFmakesofthisguy

By Jeri Clausing

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Internet video that shows a meat company employee swearing at animal activists before shooting a horse in the head highlights the increasing emotional intensity of the national debate over whether a New Mexico plant should be allowed to resume domestic horse slaughter.

Animal rights groups this week uncovered a video posted by a former employee of Valley Meat Co., which has been fighting the United States Department of Agriculture for more than a year for approval to convert its former cattle slaughter operation into a horse slaughterhouse.


Valley Meat Co. owner Rick De Los Santos said the employee, who was let go this week, was reacting to harassment by animal rights activists who have targeted the plant since its plans were made public about a year ago. The harassment has worsened since the video, made a year ago, was uncovered this week, he said.

“We are getting lots of threats: that we better watch our back, watch who is around us, that they hope our kids and families get killed, ugly stuff,” De Los Santos said Friday.

The video shows Tim Sappington of Dexter leading a seemingly healthy horse by a rope to a spot in a dirt road. He strokes his nose and neck, says, “All you animal activists, (expletive) you,” then shoots it in the head.

Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon said the department is bracing for things to get worse as the company nears a final inspection by federal regulators with the hope of opening horse slaughter operations next month.

The video, he said, “didn’t help anything,” noting the issue is “very emotional.”

De Los Santos said he has hired a security firm to guard his company and its workers.

The New Mexico Livestock Board has launched an inquiry into the shooting as a possible case of animal abuse. But the sheriff noted that it’s not illegal for a horse owner to kill the animal and eat it, saying it’s no different than a farmer who slaughters his pig and consumes the meat. That’s because horses are considered livestock and no different under the law than cattle or pigs.

“Everybody is up in arms,” Coon said. “The sad part is – or maybe it’s good for him_ there is not a law that says you can’t slaughter your livestock for consumption. And he is a horse eater.”

No one answered a telephone listing for Sappington in Dexter on Friday.

De Los Santos said Sappington actually filmed the entire process for preparing the horse for consumption. But he only posted part of the video.

Carolyn Schnurr, federal legislative manager of government relations for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, called the video “emotionally disturbing.”

But she said the group does not condone violence, and reminded others opposed to horse slaughter to “stay focused on what needs to be done to help American horses … to end the slaughter of American horses.”

Horse slaughter opponents are pushing legislation in Congress to ban domestic slaughter, as well as the export of horses to other countries for slaughter.

The debate is raging amid a recent uproar in Europe over horse meat being found in products labeled as beef.

De Los Santos has said the meat from his plant would be processed for human consumption in Russia, eastern Europe and Asia. It will also be used for pet foods.

Last year, De Los Santos sued the USDA to resume the inspections necessary to open what would be the nation’s first horse slaughterhouse in more than five years. The USDA earlier this month said it has no choice legally but to move forward with the application of Valley Meat and several other companies since Congress lifted a ban on the practice. The company’s attorney, A. Blair Dunn, said earlier this week that a final inspection of the plant by USDA officials is expected in early April.

Many animal humane groups and public officials are outraged at the idea of resuming domestic slaughter, including New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who points to the iconic animal’s role as a loyal companion in the West.

But others – including some horse rescuers, livestock associations and the American Quarter Horse Association – support the plans. They point to a 2011 report from the federal Government Accountability Office that shows horse abuse and abandonment have been increasing since Congress effectively banned horse slaughter by cutting funding for federal inspection programs in 2006. They say the ban on domestic slaughter has led to tens of thousands of horses being shipped to inhumane slaughterhouses in Mexico.

9 Responses to “Tim Sappington, Valley Meat Contractor, Films Himself Shooting Horse”

  1. bpete65 March 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Isn’t this animal cruelty? Where are the charges Sheriff?

    • QuidProQuo March 24, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      I think they said that, because he did it on his own property—at 221 or 229 Dallas Rd. in Dexter, New Mexico—that it was legal.

      • justiceformoody March 25, 2013 at 7:47 am #

        Timothy Craig Sappington Jr at 221 Dallas Morgan Road, Dexter, NM 88230–karma is a bitch and it only takes one person to bring that karma to you. That poor innocent horse, it was walking toward you, like you were going to feed it a carrot or a treat, then you gave the horse a pat and then shot him in the face and then after the horse was still in pain, you didn’t even bother to look back at the horse, instead you looked at the camera, you psychotic narcissist. You must have a very small mind and a very small penis to do what you did on camera. Do you feel like a BIG man now, Tim? Do you think you are the only gun owner in the world? You are on everyone’s radar now and many animal activists are livid over what you have done. You are unemployed, you are a gutless redneck. You swore at animal activists. If I were you, I would sleep with one eye open. Also, I don’t believe for a minute that you eat horsemeat. Although, I don’t think you have missed a meal because you have quite a big gut on you, you redneck ass. Karma is knocking at your door, Baby. I am going to take the civil route and call your boss tomorrow and hopefully that meat packing plant will be shut down and then I am going to write to the governor of New Mexico but many people will not react as civil once they view this video that has gone viral. Tim, can’t wait to read your obituary. Hope I don’t have to wait to long to read about you. I bet many people who watched that video will become vigilantes and take matters into their own hands. Happy trails to you, Timothy Craig Sappington Jr.

      • Burt Biggins April 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

        Kathy D Sappington,
        Chrystal L Sappington,
        Ricci M Sappington,
        Jesse Sappington,
        Seth Sappington

        Previous Residences: Roswell, NM

  2. sharkseathorsetheives March 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    To bad the headlines weren’t Tim Sappington films HIMSELF being shot by horse.

  3. sharkseathorsetheives March 24, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    But did the horse come from the killer buyers auction or did it come from the pen at the plant. If it came from the plant then it could change the end result, showing the owner of the company did know what was going to happen. I find it hard to believe the plant owner did not know that he was going to do this in the first place.

  4. Wrong Info! March 26, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    While this video was despicable, the address information listed in the comments is wrong. WRONG ADDRESS, WRONG PERSON. The 33 year-old owner has explained on Youtube that he owns this rental property. To repeat: the person in the video does not own or live at the address(s) the commenters here have listed.

    • Burt Biggins April 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      Kathy D Sappington,
      Chrystal L Sappington,
      Ricci M Sappington,
      Jesse Sappington,
      Seth Sappington

      Previous Residences: Roswell, NM


  1. Man Shoots Horse Dead in Video to Defy Animal Activists | Shoots horse in the head | Family Survival Protocol - March 23, 2013

    […] Tim Sappington, Valley Meat Contractor, Films Himself Shooting Horse […]

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