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Veterinarian: Horses Need To Be Removed Immediately

More than 60 horses are in danger of starving at a ranch in the eastern part of El Paso County. According to animal activists, the number is dwindling as they claim two more horses died in the past several days.

?They need to be removed immediately,? said Dr. Amy Starr who says she put a horse down on the ranch last week. ?It?s not today, it?s not tomorrow, it?s yesterday.?

Sources tell ABC-7 they used a personal aircraft to perform a flyover and saw two additional horse carcasses. A similar flyover was performed with a helicopter last week where video was obtained that video showed a carcass in the desert about five miles north of Cattleman?s Ranch in Fabens.

The ABC-7 I-team drove to the area where activists claimed the horses were dying. Walking up a dirt road horses could be seen along the road with ribs protruding from their bodies. Photographs were taken, and shown to Starr who hasn?t been on the ranch since the day she was called by law enforcement to the scene. She seemed shocked at the pictures she saw.

?If they continue on that way one by one they?re going to die,? said Starr.

Not a lot of information has been released from the investigation that was launched by the El Paso County Sheriff?s Office. Last week a news release stated that a veterinarian observed some of the horses and that they appeared to be in good condition, although they were skinny. That release came out a few days after Starr says she had to put down a horse on the same property.

According to the Sheriff?s Office news release, nearly 65 horses reside on the land. The horses were originally from Dona Ana County and were meant to be shipped to Mexico where they were to be slaughtered. Instead, the horses were in such bad condition they weren?t allowed in the country, and they were shipped to their current home in El Paso county where a hold order was placed on them. Activists claim they?re no better off, a thought Dr. Starr seems to agree with.

?Those conditions are not fit for cattle, much less a horse,? said Starr.

But a veterinarian with the Sheriff?s Office says the horses have water, salt blocks and molasses. Starr doesn?t deny that, but says it doesn?t make sense given the state of the horses that she has seen, or the pictures we obtained.

She also admits she has never been involved with a case where animals need to be removed from a property. Usually, she helps rehabilitate animals later on in the process, but after seeing what she has she says as a veterinarian she?s certain of one thing: that the remaining horses on the ranch need help, and quickly.

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