From : 


Sent : 

Friday, August 18, 2006 9:06 PM

To :

Subject : 

Texarkana Case





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 information.  


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 both men.  


Gail Vacca