Animals’ Angels, an investigative agency dedicated to animal rights, has released their findings from a two-year investigation into “killer buyer” Mike McBarron of Forney, TX.
The organization alleges that McBarron, owner of M and M Livestock and M and M Farms (a trucking company), has repeatedly violated The Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Act. Additionally, they document poor conditions at McBarron’s Forney collecting station.
According to the report, McBarron has garnered millions of dollars by purchasing horses at auctions and elsewhere, shipping them to Mexico for slaughter, and garnering major profits. While this practice may be morally reprehensible to those against the slaughter of horses, it is not illegal.
The Inside Rein reached out to McBarron for a response to Animals’ Angels report and he was forthcoming in his replies. McBarron does not deny sending horses to slaughter, stating, “Do I personally slaughter them myself? No, I do not. I send them to a guy in Mexico that has it done. Me personally, I don’t like it. I’m not a fan of it but here’s the bottom line: I’ve been in the horse business all my life, I buy a lot of horses. It’s kind of a necessary evil because even after all the horses that we do save every week there’s some that fall through the cracks that people don’t want.”
Since the USDA closed the remaining US slaughter plants in 2007, the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Act was amended to address the issue of improper travel conditions as horses face the long haul en route to slaughter in either Canada or Mexico. It is violations of this Act that has Animals’ Angels calling for the USDA Slaughter Horse Transport Program to investigate the actions of Mr. McBarron.
According to the report, many of Mr. McBarron’s horses are purchased through brokers at auctions and sale barns, and then sent directly to slaughter, McBarron having never personally laid eyes on them.
When asked, Mr. McBarron readily admitted he purchases horses in other states and ships them directly slaughter. “That’s right,” he says, “But it’s all done legally. I get horses out of Arkansas and Louisiana but they microchip and tag the horses there and then they have a Louisiana accredited veterinarian sign the health certificate.”
The condition of the horses Mr. McBarron ships to slaughter is, according to evidence collected by Animals’ Angels, often times deplorable. The report claims some horses were unable to stand on four legs, others emaciated, and at least three documented as being dead on arrival, all direct violations of the Act. In 2014, three of McBarron’s horses tested positive for Cadmium, a banned substance in the EU and Russia, and he was notified by the Carnicos de Jerez slaughter plant. AA also alleges that foals have been seen in McBarron’s feedlots. If those horses were shipped to slaughter, that too is a direct violation of the Act that prohibits horses under six months of age to be sent to slaughter.
McBarron strongly refutes any implication that his horses are shipped in poor condition. “I’ve got compassion for them,” says McBarron, “If there’s one that looks like he doesn’t need to be put on that truck because he might not make the trip I’m going keep him off there. From time to time you’re going to have some catastrophes and something will happen that’s out of your control.”
McBarron also denies the use of an electronic prod, despite Animals’ Angels photographic evidence. “No,” he says McBarron when asked if he uses electric prods, adding, “There’s a couple pictures of me with a hot shot in my hand but they ain’t got none of me using them have they?”
Each animal being shipped for slaughter must be given an International Health Certificate after being checked by a veterinarian. Mr. McBarron employs the services of Dr. Timothy Holt of Terrell, TX for these purposes. Animals’ Angels alleges that Mr. Holt has provided this documentation without ever laying eyes on most of the horses as they are shipped directly to slaughter. This is dangerous for those who will consume the meat as they have no way of knowing whether the animal had been given banned substance during the previous 180 days. Such a practice also makes it impossible for Dr. Holt to know whether a horse has a communicable disease and is therefore unsuitable for shipping across state or country lines. The Texas Veterinary Board has written up Mr. Holt for malpractice/negligence on multiple occasions.
McBarron vehemently denies any wrongdoing on the certificates. “That’s not true,” McBarron says of the allegations that Dr. Holt provides health certificates on unseen animals. “You know why I say that? In reality he lives probably about ten miles from me and he’s at my place every day.”
Horses that McBarron purchases out of state are, according to McBarron, inspected by in-state veterinarians, and then endorsed by the USDA. If a state doesn’t provide those services, McBarron says he gets health papers on the horses, then ships them directly to his pens where he microchips and tags them and they receive veterinary inspection. The Inside Rein reached out Dr. Holt for comment and he has yet to reply.
Animals’ Angels investigated four locations operated by McBarron, including the Mike McBarron Feedlot in Forney, TX, the Eagle Pass Export Pens and Preisidio Export Pens also in Texas, and the Stanley Brother Feedlot in Bastrop, LA.
Investigators visited the Forney location and found horses knee-deep in mud with water and food troughs tipped over or empty. Photographs in the report show a horse with his eyes swollen shut, others emaciated and sickly, as well as a donkey lying dead in a pen.
McBarron stresses that his horses receive quality care and have food and water at all times. “They [Animals’ Angels] want to talk about how bad of a place my place is but my place is probably nicer than 95% of the people that are out there doing all that talking. I’ve got a first class operation. We do everything right. When the horses get to my place they get the best feed money can buy. I’d like them to see my feed and water bill every month.”
AA also visited a Stanley Brother’s collecting station notorious for welfare violations in the past. They have multiple properties operating in Mississippi and Louisiana. This is significant because McBarron uses the Stanley Brothers as brokers and shippers, a profitable venture for the brothers. According to the report, in March 2014 alone McBarron paid the Stanley Brothers $300,000 for their services. Mitchell Stanley has been fined a total of $34,925 by the USDA for violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Act in the past.
A Stanley Brothers’ collecting station in Mississippi, operated by Jerry Earls, was investigated in 2014 when a couple reported multiple dead or dying horses at the property and reported their finding to law enforcement. According to Animals’ Angels, the remaining horses were quickly shipped to Mike McBarron to be exported for slaughter.
AA investigators visited the Stanley Brother’s property in Bastrop, LA, where they found an emaciated, severely lame horse unable to put weight on his right foreleg. The report also points to a 2010 police report documenting the observation of dead carcasses at the location, including a dead horse, a dead sheep, and two dead cows.
The AA report lays out the staggering numbers involved in Mike McBarron’s slaughter trade, both in dollars and lives. From McBarron’s Eagle Pass location alone, between 933 and 5284 horses were shipped to slaughter per month in 2014. An invoice from the Carnicos de Jerez plant states that McBarron was paid $1,988,683.02 during a 3-month period in 2014. McBarron was noncommittal on the sums he’s received in the slaughter trade, and didn’t deny the numbers printed in Animals’ Angels report.
When the EU banned the import of horsemeat from Mexico, McBarron’s business declined. He switched his business to non-EU approved plants and continues his purchase-to-slaughter pipeline, raking in staggering sums.
McBarron repeatedly stressed that his reason for sending horses to slaughter was because there was nothing else to do with them. When asked why he continued to purchase so many horses if he didn’t have the space, he replied with the following: “I do it to make money. That’s what I do; I’m in the horse business. That’s all I’ve ever done. When we get them we try to handle them as humane as we can.”
According to information obtained by Animals’ Angels through the Freedom of Information Act, McBarron has previously been sighted for multiple violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Act and fined a total of $21,000. McBarron does not deny past violations, but stresses he’s following the law now. “I violated some laws probably 7 or 8 years ago when if first started. But I paid my fines, I paid my restitution. Cost me about 35,000 dollars. Since then I’ve tried to do everything the government says to do. I haven’t had any more fines.”
Based on the AA report, previous punishment has done nothing to slow McBarron’s lucrative slaughter business. Animals’ Angels has “called on the USDA Slaughter Horse Transport Program as well as local authorities such as the Texas Department of Environmental Quality, the Texas Animal Health Commission, and the Texas Attorney General’s Office to launch an investigation into Mike McBarron’s operations.”
To read the full report, click here.
To read about Animals’ Angels investigation into Donor Horse Serum, click here.
Article by Ashley Fairfield-Remeza
April 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm
Ultimately, it is the United States Department of Agriculture who is guilty of dumping animals NOT raised as food on the global food market.
They distribute the backtags that, seemingly create an “air” of meat safety on this cruel, unsanitary and adulterated “meat” product.
April 4, 2016 at 7:58 pm
Agreed, my comment is awaiting approval 🙂
April 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm
The quote by Mike McBarren fascinates me. He claims to “not like it” “I’m not a fan of it”. He is implying that there is actually something wrong, negative, bad, immoral, unethical with the industry of sending American horses to their death via slaughter??? Why does he say that ? Why didn’t the interviewer follow up with the logical question of “why, do you Mike McBarren “not like sending horses to slaughter”. He states that sending horses across our borders is a “necessary evil”…. we know that is a lie. That statement is not true. The vast majority of horses “not wanted” are humanly euthanized in this country. Every single horse that he sends to slaughter (for arguments sake we can pretend they are all un-wanted) could have been humanly euthanized …that is the “bottom line” (to use his words ). The only reason he buys horses and sends them across our borders to be slaughtered, is because there is a demand for horse meat. If the trade was banned tomorrow …. the horses he claims are un-wanted can all be humanly euthanized , just as our country does with dogs and cats to the tune of millions. If one were to consider Mikes statement then one could infer that we as a country need to send all our dogs and cats across the border to be slaughtered for the meat…there certainly is a demand for that type of animal meat too. I have spoken to Mr. Mike McBarren personally. I know that he simply buys to the demand ….this market has nothing to do with “unwanted horses” it is very simple, buying horses for resale is a legal business…he is a horse trader. He sells horses for slaughter because it’s legal and there exists a demand. He sells horses over the internet, because there is a demand. What he claims is a “save” is actually just another market he supplies to. He has grown and propagated a lucrative internet horse sales market with a sinister essentially held for ransom scheme that claims that horse will go to slaughter if not “saved” via internet purchase. So the truth is, he and many other “kill buyers” are actually contributing to more horses being produced to fill these new internet markets. The meat demand is filled (if the demand is 150,000 horses a year…then exactly that many will ship to slaughter ) nothing will change that. So I am thrilled to see Mike McBarren actually come out and say that there is something seriously wrong with the horse slaughter business….but his statement about it being a “necessary evil” is a lie. Unwanted horses, dogs, cats …whatever… are not raised for food in this country, are not tracked and regulated from birth to slaughter and if “unwanted” should be and certainly can be humanly euthanized. We cannot justify putting unregulated, untracked meat of any kind into the global food supply. Is that why Mr. Mike McBarren “is not a fan of it”? Or is it something else? Inquiring minds want to know, because no matter his answer he already has validated the anti horse slaughter argument. This reminds me of a statement by a potato farmer in Idaho…he won’t eat the potato’s he himself grows for a large international corporation …he knows first hand that the pesticides and herbicides used in the production of the product is not good for humans to consume…
April 5, 2016 at 1:52 am
Thank you very much for your comments on this disgusting practice. I had planned on rescuing at least one horse through Internet Sales. I see posts everyday from McBarren owned lots. I will not be making that purchase after reading this. He’s a disgusting example of a human being & should be ashamed of himself.
April 5, 2016 at 2:30 am
I rescued a horse from his evil lot, he came to me emaciated, scared from aggressive horses, extremely food aggressive, straved, sick. Today he is the happiest horse ever, and I’m glad I saved him. Remember people don’t realize where they’re loving pet went. So please save that horse from evil, it’s not the horses fault.
April 27, 2016 at 8:57 pm
Couldn’t have said it better myself!
April 5, 2016 at 12:04 am
this man will get his just reward one day.
April 5, 2016 at 12:55 am
Killer McBarron you do not have a class operation. You have to be a class person to have a class operation, and you sir are not. You and your crooked vet are pieces of shit. Why don’t you shut down your organization, I AM SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE OUT YOUR LIFE, WHICH HOPEFULLY WONT BE LONG. I hope you leave this world in as much pain as what you have caused so many horses.
April 5, 2016 at 1:56 am
Excellent comments & right on point. I’ve wanted a horse to love & cherish for 40 years & here we have these “men” treating such beautiful animals who love people in such horrible ways. That vet should have his license taken away & McBarren should be in jail.
August 1, 2016 at 10:04 pm
well said Susan Ifland.
April 5, 2016 at 1:56 am
Please get this story out to the media outlets. Secondly, what can we do the public that will help stop this torture by people like him. What is the best steps for us to help. This is cruelty to animals at its worst.
Educate us the public so we can make a statement. Instead of just comments. Who can organize this or direct us? I am sure people will help if they have the right direction and can see that it will have an impact.
April 6, 2016 at 3:20 am
I think that most of you are forgetting the other people that were not mentioned in this article. That would be the horse owners who starve their animals, do not treat injuries, and simply decide to dump or sell their horses to the slaughtered buyer. You want to blame this gentleman for shipping skinny or injuries horses but have you ask how they got that way in the first place? The problem isn’t this gentleman. The problem is people who get a horse and think going it’s all fun and games then discover it’s a commitment, cost money, and is a life long responsibility. They throw them away when the horse doesn’t fit their fantasy anymore. Blame the REAL people that cause this. Geez
April 29, 2016 at 2:46 pm
That is the truth of the matter. I would love to know what these people would have us all do about this. The problem is the horse owners, I’ve experienced it first hand and the exspence of bringing one of these animals back to being healthy is unaffordable for most people. You need a lot of acreage and a lot of money to purchase feed, hay and veterinary supply to care for them. Vets will NOT treat animals for free, I wouldn’t either with having to pay back student loans. You need to be focused on educating people about the care of these animals before they purchase them because yes it is a life long commitment and if you don’t understand that then when you grow tired of the time and money it takes to care for them and you think you can just stop feeding them and taking care of them and then they become unhealthy because of your stupidity and want to blame these men for taking them off of the ignorant so called horse lover hands and doing what non of us want to do. I say to these men, “how about loading these horses up and drop off a load of them at each of these ANGELS homes and let them personally incure all the cost of at least 5 of these animals then take a few loads to all the law makers homes and drop them off and say here you go, if you want to take care of someone else problem that you have no control over then here ya go, there they are, in your front yard or in front of your condo. This subject really bothers me. There are things that could be done if the politicians and law makers would listen to the people who know livestock and stop listening to people who are clueless about the subject.
July 24, 2016 at 5:31 am
The actual problem is uncontrolled breeding. I have a Bastrop mule I pulled and 2 horses…..one had a form of strep that almost killed him. And I also bought a 3 year old horse, broke him and rehomed him to a kid. Most of the animals there are grade, mixed and unhandled. That is 100% breeder fault. You should have to pay for a license and be deemed qualified to breed anything in this country. It’s like that in Germany and they have ZERO unwanted pets except the ins American personnel leave behind.
August 31, 2016 at 11:02 am
September 2, 2016 at 2:45 am
While backyard breeders are a problem the registered horse breeders are a big problem. So many beautiful registered horses end up at killpens. The quarter horses, Off the track race horses, Arabians etc. I have saved seven. All gentle, rideable and beautiful. If the safe act would pass and the breeders would have no where to go with there abundance of horses they consider “NOT PERFECT” maybe the problem would end. These horses deserve so much more than the breeders give them.
April 6, 2016 at 4:58 am
This is a huge concern and needs to be punishable.
April 6, 2016 at 3:17 pm
My favorite lie in this article is Mcbarron saying he has compassion!!! I don’t think he knows what that is..The atrocities thay happen on his lot are inexcusable!! I have several pictures supplied by different people that have been on the lot..The second favorite lie is we save horses but some fall through the cracks..Save horses Mike? You don’t spend money on anything you can’t make money off..You aren’t in the horse saving business you’re in the horse killing business and people are oblivious to the fact you only offer up horses off your lot ro make money!!! And the horses are sick and you don’t care..Karma is all I can hope for..With a 9th grade education what would Mike do if he couldn’t send horses to slaughter and collect blood money?
April 6, 2016 at 5:44 pm
You are right on about this devil. I hope he dies a very slow and painful death. I would bet he would be crying out for mercy. Mercy that he did not feel for the poor gentle beings that he sent to their death in unspeakable cruel, inhumane ways! Thank you for what you do for our beautiful, gentle horses.
April 6, 2016 at 5:37 pm
Karen, while you are right about what some people do with there horses, I very strongly resent you calling him a ‘gentleman’. Do you not realize what that word means? Do you really think that someone who does the inhumane, cruel things he does is a gentle man? I guess you think people who sell drugs to children are gentlemen. Get your facts straight before you stand up for him!!!
April 27, 2016 at 6:48 pm
Who do we contact if we have had dealings with them and want to report our experience??
April 28, 2016 at 1:22 am
Thanks for reading and commenting. If you need to report an experience that involves Mr. McBarron I’d suggest reaching out to Animals’ Angels due to their extensive knowledge of his operation. Their phone number is 443-821-3343 and email is [email protected]. Alternatively, email me your contact info and the info you’d like to report and I’ll do my best to get it to the proper authorities. My email is [email protected]. Thanks again!
April 27, 2016 at 7:52 pm
There are a lot of groups trying to set up protests at Bastrop Kill pen. We are trying to get the media involved so this will go World Wide! Anyone out there who wants to be involved check out rescue groups of all kinds. There are many. I am getting in touch with FOX news to see if we can get them involved!
April 27, 2016 at 10:18 pm
what a cold blooded murderer. the holocaust off horses and animals has to stop. torture is barbaric and midevil.
April 28, 2016 at 3:08 am
What do you expect to happen to all these horses if the kill pens are closed? You read the numbers. Between 933-5284 PER MONTH were shipped out. Let’s see…almost 5300 horses with no where to go each month. They’ll be roaming the sides of the highways, back country roads and eventually into our more populated areas. Does that sound ideal? Who is going to pay to feed that many each month? You can’t look at this as such an emotionally charged topic. Be a little more realistic.
April 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm
You are in moral person to think like that. …decades have gone by without this. .BLM is the cause, they are destroying herds to get land the was given to the horses decades ago. .BLM wants to lease the land to gas company for profit. ..ands castle company for profit. ..BLM years ago had over 23 million acres for horses to live on. …but now wants the horses gone all for profit. …do your research. …
July 24, 2016 at 2:25 am
BLM is a taxpayer funded government agency used by cattlemen and mining companies to round up for slaughter our national treasure of wild horses. Totally unaccountable for their disgraceful actions, from using government owned helicopters and trucks to terrify and round up, to making obscene profits…the trail goes cold but “authorization” comes from governors with well greased palms
April 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm
Where are the owners of these 5,000 horses?
Dr, Gregg Vakenklass a Vet/Breeder offered in Court testimony that 85,000 AQHA horses go to slaughter each year. Why is AQHA registering and breeding horses that carry the 5 genetic diseases that AQHA created an epidemic of? Breeders go right ahead and breed, then dump yearlings who carry the markers.
How many are off of Race Tracks? it is estimated at at least 20,000.
As for the rest “private property” horses… Why should I or anyone else be resopnsible for maintaining them?
Ever hear of euthanasia? And there are Rescues who re-home horses.
I realize you would rather poison people in in Taiwan, Korea and Mexico wi th your medicated animals who have received a lifetime of powerful equine drugs labeled by FDA as NOT FOR USE IN ANIMALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION…. But that is not really the American way. Or has America become a Third World Nation?
July 25, 2016 at 5:12 am
Silly girl. Those horses that don’t go to slaughter would be picked up by people and the breeding game would be over because the big bucks wouldn’t be there. Mass production is what has bottomed out the “horse industry” as they so love to call themselves. Basic fundamental economics is all about supply and demand. Of you want to make money you keep. Your supply low only enough to meet the demand……. But you can’t tell that to those ignorant breeders….they just don’t get it..
April 28, 2016 at 8:12 am
The Garbage Can (McBarron and Other Kill Buyers) needs to be removed so that stupid and cruel people who have horses LEARN responsibility and either dispose of the their unwanted horses thru a vet or bullet OR sell them or give them away. Four of my seven were unwanted and given to me. Unable to have a vet come and put my 33 yr . show horse down after a stroke I was forced to ask my neighbor to shoot her to end her suffering. I cannot come close to explaining the emotional trauma I went thru ……but it was so fast that I if in that position again I would not hesitate. So basically what I want to say is when you take the TRASH CAN away people will have to go another route. If the horse they take to auction doesn’t sell =they have to come back and pick it up. So all those old and skinny starved horses won’t be sold. Hopefully they will be notified and fined for abuse.And in due time hopefully the SAFE ACT will pass with enough public pressure ! (Have you called and voiced your opinion to Congress??????) And the Kill Buyers will be out of business! We finally got rid of the slaughter plants here……which really hurt the kill buyers immensely …..now we need to finish plugging the holes at the borders!!!!!!!
April 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm
Our government is certainly part of this catastrophe, the USDA is in the thick of it, and so are lobbyists and people like Harry Reid ex or present senator of Nevada, the USDA has holding pens and slaughter trucks where the horses are corralled nearby, USDA has designations and logs of how many horses are sent to slaughter as one of our some of our other folks posting on FB already are aware of, I must not forget to mention all the senators and congress people who are listed throughout our nation as pro slaughter, with lame excuses for the practice, in OK Nevada, and other states, to end this madness, also lobbyist Charles Stenholm Tx lobbyist and ex representative who was in office around the time the second Bush was in office,, he mr. stenholm is partially responsible for the China Plan, which makes the whole pipeline full circle, ready buyers for our nations horses/equines wild and domestic. No funding on all these outlets would help tremendously no funding then no shipping tto slaughter, lets all pool our knowledge and resources, and try very very hard to end this travesty of justice, to our nations animals, those that have helped us throughout the centuries to grow our nation, and help its citizens survive, thanking all our equines past and present, and those who are trying so hard to protect and nurture their existence.
June 4, 2016 at 5:06 am
Why are people continuing to breed their horses without a plan to sell them directly to the horse consumer. STOP BREEDING FOR THE SAKE OF BREEDING PEOPLE. I have not bred a mare in 5 yrs because the market is not there. We are at fault because we produce the surplus in horses that people can’t afford to keep. Without the horses they are all out of business.
July 10, 2016 at 3:45 pm
The face of evil. Special place in hell for these devils who abuse animals.!
July 10, 2016 at 3:54 pm
Marie, I agree!
July 22, 2016 at 12:22 am
This is horrible treatment of h roses please stop it.
August 1, 2016 at 5:33 pm
By voting in Donald Trump….is a vote to continue these horrible practices.
Hillary Clinton is more likely to work with HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES in passing the S.A.F.E. Act.
I lobby with HSUS, and party lines are clear and concise when it comes to passing such laws.
August 1, 2016 at 8:36 pm
You have no proof who will do what so can tge political format. At this point there is a serious excess of horses due to back yard breeding of grades and ranch breeding of hundreds if quarter horses. These people cull their herds just like cattle people do when feed is tight or grass is lacking. It’s a dn shame but these horses are already here so those at the level of production need to be fined and that is done by the Associations.
August 30, 2016 at 1:17 pm
I have been to his place it was clean, had feed, water and shelter. I do believe it is a necessary evil. I dont like the Mexican slaughter houses BUT because of the Texas houses being closed it is what it is. He does try to sell horses and give them a chance. The problem is over breeding, and back yard breeders with poor quality animals. Regulate breeding.. go to a kill pen you will see thin horses yes but you will also see well breed, well trained horses. I picked up 2 last week myself. Dont believe everything you read go see for yourself.
September 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm
Put these digusting abusive sadist- animal abusers and exploiters out of business.
October 7, 2016 at 1:10 am
It sounds great to save them all but the facts remain. Some of these horses that r purchased ppl only take because they have a soft heart. If it wasn’t headed to kill pen they wouldn’t take a second look. The business is unsettling for those of us that love animals but it’s an animal and ppl can’t keep humanizing animals. I try to take a realistic view of this I personally could not gut out the butchering of a horse but it is not a whole lot different than cattle. I would hate to see ppl raising horses for this purpose but i also see it as an necessary evil. As many love their dogs like a part of their family, dogs are euthanized in shelters daily not because ppl like it but because it is necessary. It’s a sad part of reality.
October 7, 2016 at 1:16 am
One more point that I haven’t seen anyone make is that when ppl with a purpose do raise nice horses some don’t turn out. This does bring on part of the excess but many of them are used and live long and purpose filled lives.