No charges to be filed in NM horse shooting case

Posted at: 04/12/2013 3:38 PM
Updated at: 04/13/2013 1:37 PM
By: Whitney Jones, KOB.com

In an April 12 letter to the New Mexico Livestock Board, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which covers Chaves, Eddy and Lea Counties, said it won't seek charges against Tim Sappington - the man who created uproar after filming himself shooting a horse last month.

District Attorney Janetta Hicks explains that's because "Mr. Sappington's conduct was not a violation of New Mexico law."

She writes that Sappington killed the horse for his own consumption, which is a commonly accepted agricultural and animal husbandry practice; it's also excluded from the state's extreme animal cruelty statute. The state also reviewed federal laws, and determined that Sappington also acted in accordance with those slaughtering standards.

"The was verified through the interview with Mr. Sappington, video clips of Mr. Sappington actually processing and storing the horse after hooting it, and recovery of horse meat packaged for human consumption," Hicks writes.

Even so, Hicks, in her letter, also pointed out the video clip featuring Sappington's incendiary comments and the abrupt manner in which he killed the horse "demonstrated infectivity as well a poor judgment."

The shooting incident came after Sappington, an employee of Valley Meat Company outside of Roswell, said he and his family was fed up with the threats they had received from animal activists because the company was seeking United States Department of Agriculture approval for a domestic horse slaughtering plant.

Horse Shooting Letter