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Animals’ Angels Reveals Shocking, Deadly Neglect of Hundreds of Horses at Dennis Chavez’s New Mexico Auction Lot

"Not as bad as you think."

Undercover animal rights activists have revealed shocking and deadly neglect of hundreds of horses at a New Mexico auction lot.

The Daily Mail reports that activists from Animals’ Angels, a Germany-based advocacy group, filmed horrific neglect of sick, dead and dying horses, many of them starving to death, at Dennis Chavez’s Southwest Livestock Auction and Feedlot in Las Lunes, 25 miles (40 km) south of Albuquerque.

Emaciated horses, some of which cannot even stand up, were filmed in various states of distress, with one of the animals dying while the activists were still on the property.

Chavez is known as a “kill buyer,” or a livestock dealer who trades in animals destined for slaughter. Animals’ Angels claims Chavez shipped more than 10,000 horses to be slaughtered in 2011.

Animals’ Angels executive director Sonja Meadows said that in addition to the horses seen in the video, hundreds more were malnourished, sick or bleeding in the auctioneer’s pens. She described the animals’ condition as “walking death.”

Moreover, BJ Winchester, a state inspector present on site at a sale earlier this month did not intervene to allow the suffering horses to be humanely euthanized, even after the activists repeatedly requested for them to be put out of their misery.

The New Mexico Livestock Board has launched an investigation of Chavez’s business. Inspector Winchester has reportedly been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Dennis Chavez told local station KOB that the situation was “not as bad as you think.”

“Well, I understand these pictures look real bad but it’s not as bad as you think,” he said. “Some of these horses, they come in like this… and I do the best I can to try and revive them, but you can’t salvage them all– some things you can’t do to make things better.”

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