New Mexico’s Valley Meat employee’s horse killing video spurs investigation

Cross-posted from Bloomberg


An employee of a New Mexico company that has sparked outrage for its plans to slaughter horses is being investigated for animal cruelty in connection with a video in which he taunts animal welfare advocates while killing a horse.

Valley Meat Slaughterhouse, Roswell, NY. Bloomberg image.
Valley Meat could soon become the nation’s only horse-slaughterer and the first since 2007. It is located about 9 miles outside of Roswell, New Mexico, near dairy farms and a ranch that advertises itself as the home of a Kentucky Derby winner and other prize horses.

Tim Sappington, 54, may face charges over the video, said Bobby Pierce, the deputy director of the New Mexico Livestock Board, an Albuquerque-based law enforcement agency. Sappington is the only employee of Valley Meat Co. near Roswell, which is seeking to become the first company to run a horse-slaughter plant in the U.S. since 2007.

“It’s extreme cruelty, a penalty, to maliciously kill an animal,” said Pierce, who said he believes charges will probably result from the investigation, which began yesterday. Valley Meat said it is evaluating Sappington’s continued employment.

Posted on the Internet several months ago, the video was widely circulated among animal-welfare activists this week after a March 19 Bloomberg News story on Valley Meat that featured Sappington. The video shows Sappington looking into the camera, addressing an expletive to animal rights activists and then firing a pistol-like device between the eyes of the horse, which falls to the ground trembling.

Sappington, who said he eats horse meat two to three times a week, said he killed the animal for food. The full video, which wasn’t posted online, shows him skinning and gutting the animal, too, he said.

“I killed that animal for my consumption,” Sappington said in a telephone interview, before referring calls to an attorney. “If I had shot that thing in the guts or the legs or beat it and left it in the pasture for the coyotes to get at, it’d be a different discussion. I shot that for my human, my personal, consumption.”

It is legal to kill livestock for food, Pierce said.

“If he claims he was killing it for his own food, the investigation would take a different turn,” Pierce said.

Full report here >>


However, it is still deeply disturbing to anyone with a sensitive nature.



People are disturbed and outraged by this man’s actions, as well they should be. Remember this. This is how the meat you eat gets on your plate, in worse circumstances that what this horse endured. Insofar as people who want horse slaughter — or any animal slaughter — in their communities and the jobs that go with it, this is the type of person that goes with it.

Lawyers confirm to us that Roswell officials can easily prosecute Sappington on grounds of animal cruelty. It does not matter whatsoever what his reasons were. Law enforcement in their opinion will be guilty of derelict of duty if they refuse to take action against him, and should themselves be investigated. We will see to it should they fail to arrest and charge Sappington.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez says she is against horse slaughter and feels it would be bad for her State. She is right and can do something about it. Martinez can put an end to it by issuing an Executive Order making horse slaughter illegal. We should not have to beg her to do so.

For those politicians who advocate for horse slaughter or have blocked legislation to end it, this type of cruelty and bloodshed is on your heads.


Send a message to Congress to support and work for the passage of federal legislation currently pending to end horse slaughter and export for slaughter.

:: Support HR 1094 and S 541 here >>

8 thoughts on “New Mexico’s Valley Meat employee’s horse killing video spurs investigation”

  1. Thank You Donna for the concise answer to me, Donna, this man is truly sick and in dire need of help, OMG this kind of Human Garbage is running amuck !!!!!! It is a proven fact that everywhere Horse Slaughter Plants are there is many kinds of devastation, Ask Illinois they are still trying to clean up , even after being closed for a long time there is much awful clean up being done !!!!!!!


  2. Why did they wait a whole year to investigate , why was this video shown now…?????? This is unacceptable, and reeks of criminal charges…………… This man is insane !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    1. video was posted and became viral starting Wed. I live in Abq and have been working with numerous horse supporting activists who are so against this horse slaughterhouse that now the local news says that this business can open in 2 weeks —Valley Meatpacking CO and the owner Rick De Los Santos, his sleazy young Atty J.Blair Dunn and this creep in the video Tim Sappington (reported as a “long time employee of Valley meatpacking. He did this to instigate anger and hate towards animal rights activists. He’s a lowlife and it took awhile for our local media to get it on the news. Our ABC affiliate here KOAT-TV ran a story Thurs night like it was no big deal, and left out critical information on the story, precisely what this nutjob said to the camera during the film- and the guy who filmed this is just as deplorable. Sappington was very calculating. Even I was unsuspecting based on the title of the video when it first came out (Horse Plays Dead) and this guy goes up to the horse all sweet, leads him away from where he was grazing into the driveway in front of his trailer, and pats his head before he takes out his gun, makes his directed cursing comments to the camera at “here’s for all you animal rights activists,…F****You”, then puts the gun to the horses head and shoots him, horse falls trembling/dying and afterward he says “Good!”. So really was this POS’s intent to kill for food? No, it was because he’s pissed because he’s so dumb he can’t find any other work, because he has the brain of a pea. He’s a kill buyer/transporter of horses previously down to Mexico. so shipping them to Roswell, NM is a better proposal for him.(Sappington apparently decided to take it of Youtube awhile ago after he originally posted it not knowing it’s TOO LATE) and apparently did an interview w Bloomberg News -don’t know when timeline. But because they want to open this after suing USDA for inspection (I heard “final” inspection last night on KOAT TV news and weeks away from starting business”. Go Google Valley meatpacking Co Roswell NM and see this guys history of unclean, unsanitary conditions- slaughtering cattle, he was shut down and fined by state environment dept for leaving tons of animal carcass remains lying out in the sun on concrete filled w maggots and never cleaned it up as requested-repeated fines$75K worth, and it’s been documented. So he hires a atty and sue USDA thinking they can bully them into letting him open the first slaughterhouse in yrs. CNN interviewed De Los Santos (owner) week of March 1 2013 it was on the web the video showing his latest and greatest improvements for “Humane horse slaughtering”. the news outside of NM has given far better coverage than here. now the NM Livestock Board is “investigating” along w Atty General King (longtime ranch family and former Gov Bruce King relative). NM Livestock Board had a huge blackeye last March 2012 when Animal Angels investigated situation w Chavez Feedlot and the Livestock Board didn’t do anything over repeat problems including dying horses starving in his lot (all bound for Mexico) 4 were dying so Animal Angels asked them to please put the 4 horses down as they were suffering, one didn’t even make it so the story ran 3 days in the Albq Journal newspaper an investigation on the horrendous antics and lack of oversight on these people and including the NM livestock Board.


        1. also reason Environment Dept fined De Los Santos repeatedly was they claim he didn’t have a “Composting permit or license” not quite sure but there was disagreement on the conditions of his property that the state of NM Environm Dept felt was so unacceptable and a threat to the health of the community.


  3. I hope you enjoy, oh wait I hoe you DO NOT enjoy prison you sorry evil POS excuse for a human, I hope the FBI, State of New Mexico law enforcement throw the Fin book at you so HARD it leaves a permanent mark, ROT IN HELL tim sappington!!!


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