Investigations continue in Chaves County, New Mexico after a viral video surfaced of a longtime Valley Meat Company worker fatally shooting a horse.
Officials with the New Mexico Livestock Board executed a search warrant on the home of Tim Sappington, the man in the video, as law enforcement tries to determine whether the act qualifies as an animal cruelty case. Sappington claims in the video that he killed the horse for his personal consumption, and has used horse as a basis for his diet his entire life. Slaughtering a horse for personal consumption is not against the law in New Mexico, although malicious killing of an animal does constitute animal cruelty.
“It's going to be up to the district attorney and the Livestock Board,” said Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon when asked on Friday whether Sappington could face charges.
Bloomberg quoted Sappington as saying: “I killed that animal for my consumption. 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.”
A statement released by Valley Meat Company deemed the video “regrettably crass” but said Sappington “was within his lawful rights to slaughter and butcher a horse and he was not acting as an employee of the company in that action.”
Valley Meat Company owners and staff have received numerous death threats and bomb threats, including one made on Monday. Sappington was fired after the video went viral.
“While Mr. Sappington's personal comments are inappropriate, they pale in comparison to threatening to bomb people and kill their families,” the statement says. “… No animal is worth threatening or ending a person's life.”
Read more at The Albuquerque Journal
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