Hearing In Louisiana Kill Pen Case Delayed Till December

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture is proceeding with cases against two people associated with a well-known kill pen operation in the state. Hearings for Jacob Thompson and Tara Sanders were postponed from an October meeting of the state’s Board of Animal Health until its next regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 3.

Earlier this year, the Department asked a judge to issue a temporary restraining order against Gary Thompson and Jacob Thompson, both of Vernon Parish, to stop them from buying and selling livestock. The order was also designed to prevent anyone from acting as a livestock dealer on the Thompsons’ behalf. According to the state’s complaint, both Thompsons had acted in the capacity of livestock dealers — buying horses and cattle and selling them within 30 days of purchase — while they did not hold dealer licenses in Louisiana.

Charges from mid-September state Jacob Thompson is alleged to have committed ten violations of state regulations requiring agents and dealers to be licensed by the Board of Animal Health and ten violations of a different regulation requiring dealers to file a surety instrument with the state in order to operate.

The Department also alleges Sanders committed 11 violations of the regulation requiring agents and dealers be licensed by the Board of Animal Health. Correspondence from the state to Sanders allege she bought and sold at least 11 horses between May and August of this year while she was unlicensed.

According to the state, Sanders submitted an application in mid-August for a dealer’s license and a copy of the requisite bond or surety instrument. State officials claim the application contained material misstatements that could put the application in jeopardy. They claim there were discrepancies between Sanders’ application and secretary of state filings about whether she or Thompson currently own the kill pen. Sanders claims she has purchased the kill pen business from longtime partner Jacob Thompson, and that he is now employed by the business.

Louisiana Director of Animal Health John Walther told Sanders on Aug. 14 she could not conduct business as a livestock dealer until she had a permit. The state says she did so anyway, triggering a cease and desist letter on Sept. 3 that Sanders is also alleged to have ignored. The lot has continued marketing horses for sale on its Facebook page throughout recent weeks.

Sanders told the Paulick Report in August that the state’s petition for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary and permanent injunction against the business did not apply to her because she maintained residency in Oklahoma, where livestock dealer permits are not required.

The company operated by Sanders and Thompson has been marketed under various names on social media but is most commonly known as Thompson Horse Lot or JT Livestock. The lot is known for purchasing horses from various auctions in the area and threatening to ship horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico if they are not sold. Social media users are offered the opportunity to purchase the horses at a set price based on photos and videos or to contribute to the horse’s “bail” fee and allow someone else to own the horse.

In addition to the state’s proceedings against the pair for licensing issues, a public information act request from early October revealed the Department is in the midst of an “active animal health investigation” related to the lot. No further details were available on the nature of the investigation as of Oct. 6.

The post Hearing In Louisiana Kill Pen Case Delayed Till December appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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