McBarron runs a tight ship and as such, he seems to be the only person in contact with the slaughter plant. He bills the plant for the delivery, and once payment is received, he pays the kill buyer who carried out the shipment. Prior to shipment, he notifies the export pen manager of the arrival of the shipment and who the shipper will be.
In fact, information obtained from an anonymous source suggests that the relationship between Mike McBarron and the former Texas Department of AG export pen manager Ricardo Perez was quite inappropriate. Not only was Perez "in the know" regarding the real shippers of the horses that his pen received, he also assisted McBarron by correcting paperwork and microchip issues, as evidenced by incidents like the following:
On 3/20/14, McBarron informed Perez that two donkeys were shipped with the same microchip number and stated: "You might want to fix this."
On March 13, 2014, McBarron was notified by the Carnicos de Jerez plant that three of his horses had high levels of cadmium residue. It should be noted that cadmium is a banned substance in the EU as well as in Russia. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified cadmium as carcinogenic to humans.
While the plant sent out an official "Warning Letter", the Plant Administrator, Sara Gurrola, informed McBarron she would need a response letter from him regarding the incident, stating that the horses had been fed with "nothing but grass." McBarron promised to do so. This level of prompting for specifically worded paperwork clearly shows a personal relationship and one that is completely inappropriate for the business at hand.
Our investigation also revealed that according to the International Health Certificates, all horses (no matter where the shipment originated) were inspected by Dr. Timothy Holt from Terrell, TX prior to shipment.
Which begs the question: How is it possible for Dr. Holt to inspect all these thousands of horses coming from Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana?
To read our detailed report, please go here.
Worse Yet, The Pens
We not only conducted in-depth background research into his ever-growing empire -- Animals' Angels investigators visited Mike McBarron's collecting station in Forney numerous times as well, and followed trucks loading and unloading at his facility. As many already know, this location also doubles as the site for McBarron's broker program.
Conditions inside the vast pen area are poor at best. There is no shelter available for the majority of the horses, no protection from the sun. In the hot summer months, the dry lot pens turn into a massive dustbowl, while during heavy rain the horses fight their way through mud that reaches all the way up to their knees. In April of 2015, the mud was so deep that several horses were stuck and could not get out. However, any time it storms, the horses are left struggling in mud as has been made clear from our many observations at various times of the year.