In order to address several mistakes printed by the media
with regard to the July 27, 2006 incident that resulted
in Bryan Morgan of Belmont, MS being charged by the Texarkana,
AR police with 5 counts of animal cruelty for transporting injured and
abused horses to slaughter, we have decided to release the following
The "supposed" USDA inspector mentioned in local
news reports was not from the USDA at all. He was Eddie Hayes, a
representative from the local chapter of the Texas Animal Health
Commission. He is not a veterinarian, nor does it seem that he
had a good working knowledge of the Federal transport regulations regarding
the humane transport of horses to slaughter. Eddie Hayes is also the person
who owns the livestock sale barn (JJ Livestock) where the horses were
unloaded to be examined by a veterinarian.
The veterinarian called to the scene was Dr. David
Murphy of DeKalb, TX.
Dr. Murphy did not properly examine the injured horses.
Dr. Murphy merely.. to use his own words..."eyeballed" the
injured horses. In order to have accurately determined whether or not
the horses who had incurred extensive eye/head injuries and were indeed not
"blind in both eyes" (as is required under federal law) Dr.
Murphy should have done a thorough examination of the affected
animals eyes.He did not.
Additionally, In order to have accurately determined the level
of pain and/or suffering the injured horses were experiencing, Dr.
Murphy should have at the very least taken the vital signs of each
injured animal. It is common veterinary protocol that in
order to determine an accurate assessment of pain, the animals heart
rate and respiratory rate are checked for eleveted levels..
this is the most efficient way to guage actual
physical pain. One cannot accurately determine an injured animal's physical
condition, simply by "eyeballing" it.
Furthermore, the federal transport regs require
that medical care be provided for any horse who becomes injured
while enroute to slaughter. Not only did Dr. Murphy not
properly assess the horses medical conditions, he also did
not provide any medical care or treatment to any of the injured
horses. Dr. Murphy's examination of the horses in question
was grossly inadequate, if not downright negligent.
The suffering endured during transport prior to being
offloaded to be examined by the vet, was only further compounded
by the grossly inadequate assessment of their injuries by two people who
clearly could not have cared less about the horses health or safety.
The horses suffering was further increased and extended
when after receiving no medical care for their
injuries, they were once again reloaded onto the very same
overcrowded illegally loaded, conveyance. Ultimately, the horses were
given the OK to be reloaded by Mr. Hayes, who was NOT a USDA employee,
and who clearly had no working knowledge of federal transport regulations.
The filing of formal complaints are being considered against