Petition to Make Horse Slaughter for Any Purpose Illegal in the State of NJ

We, the undersigned petition the state of New Jersey to abolish the practice of horse slaughter for any purpose, including both human and exotic carnivore consumption.   Horse slaughter is still legal in the USA. Although the three main horse slaughterhouses, (Beltex, Dallas Crown, and Cavel) have been shut down, there is still one known horse slaughterhouse in this country ... and shockingly , that packing plant is located in Salem County, NJ. New Jersey, otherwise known as "the state of the horse," is a sophisticated suburb of New York City. No one would ever expect such a classy state to become home to a family owned horror show horse slaughterhouse named Bravo Packing. Tucked away in Carney's Point, NJ, Bravo specializes in slaughtering fresh off the track racehorses, packaged into tube meat and sold by the pound to theme parks such as 6 Flags Great Adventure's Wild Animal Kingdom.
For those who insist Bravo Packing is "just a rendering plant" where dead horses arrive in trucks to be crushed and melted into lipstick, glue and dog food products, the Merolas make no attempts to hide what they have been doing for generations when it comes to slaughtering horses ... on their website, www.bravopacking.com, photos of horse meat cuts are displayed and put up for sale. The site is a disgusting example of Salem County, New Jersey's dirtiest little secret, and most disturbingly, the local humane society, the NJ state police and Cow Town Rodeo are "caught on tape accomplices" to Bravo's 15 years of lean meat horse procurement and slaughter.

  In 2008 an undercover investigation was launched behind closed doors of Bravo Packing. Bone chilling footage was obtained of horses starved for the procurement of "lean meat," a process by which horses were starved for months and even years before they either 1) were shot illegally by the plant manager, a convicted sex offender with a .22 rifle or 2) dropped dead AKA grade 4-D meat. Plant owner Joe Merola admitted on tape that his son Monty, whom he had employed to be "plant manager," had a drug problem and that the state had sent him to rehab. Monty Merola admitted on tape to target practicing horses, starving horses practically to death, and skinning them alive during the slaughter process. Merola also admitted to selecting "black horses" for his serial horse killing sprees ... "just because they were black ... "ni-----." Merola also admitted to baseball bashing the only seeing eye of a one eye blind draft horse. "The draft  made his last mistake when he ran away from me ... but he learned his lesson fast when his eye met my baseball bat ... Let's call a spade a spade," asserted Monty proudly. The horse was rescued one day later upon the wrap of the investigation and immediately shipped off to NJ's Mid-Alantic Equine Surgery Center for eyeball removal surgery.   One ex-racehorse was kept for almost 3 years at Bravo Packing, and developed a chronic case of celluiltis, a bacterial infection brought on by the filthy, bloody and swampy conditions of the soil on the Bravo kill lot. This horse languished for years amongst her doomed herd friends, having to watch as other horses in the lot were target practiced in front of her, then dragged still alive by a front loader into the slaughterhouse to be hung up on a hoist from one hind leg, and ultimately grounded into tube meat. Studies have proven that when horses are part of a herd, and other herd members are killed in front of them, the consequences can be devastating.  This offtrack thoroughbred, who began her career at the Kentucky Derby's own, Churchill Downs, witnessed the unthinkable while at Bravo. When confronted about denying the ex-racehorse medical care, Joe Merola merely asserted, "Dear. we don't treat the killers."  The horse was ultimately rescued from Bravo and recently had a critical case of  septic flair up of cellulitus. She has, in the eyes of both  top equine vets Dr. James M. Casey and  Dr. Laurie Wessel, "the worst case of cellulitis they have ever seen in all their years of veterinary practice."    The investigator was promised that plant manager Monty Merola would be arrested and tried in front of a grand jury on the basis of 12 felony animal cruelty charges. But when police arrived at his door, Monty only got their sympathy, and ultimately the sympathy of Salem County, when Daddy Joe assured detectives that his poor son, Monty had terminal throat cancer, had wasted away to nothing, and only had four months to live. Although substantial evidence was turned into the Salem County Prosecutor  in 2009, plant manager Monty Merola was only "brought up" on 2 animal felony cruelty charges and due to his skeletal appearance, was spared an arrest.   After Monty's death, Daddy Joe took over management of Bravo, killing horses by hand and specializing in the butchering of offtrack thoroughbreds, due to the zero tolerance policies at the tracks. It is easy for racehorses to simply "disappear from the tracks" expediently and then end up at Bravo Packing, where they go in quietly and only leave in a tube meat product. There are no rescues at Bravo, as there are at Camelot and New Holland, pulling up lip tattoos and making reports to the Jockey Club. "Business is booming," boasts Joe Merola, owner of Bravo Packing. "The zero tolerance policy at the racetracks is my ace in the hole. I got 15 thoroughbreds in my lot. I'll keep em around for for as many months as I can look at em' until one day I stare at them ugly sons a bitches and say, 'I'm tired a lookin at your God ugly face ... time to get the Mexicans and the .22.' "
We call upon the state of New Jersey to instantly shut down this unconscionable inhumane, hidden horse slaughterhouse in Salem County, NJ.  Furthermore, we would like a new law created and enforced, in memory of all the horses who have died a slow and horrific death at Bravo, to make horse slaughter of any kind and for any purpose illegal in the state of New Jersey. We will pass on this summer's ticket sales at Great Adventure ... and will not give any place business that brings business to Bravo Packing. We will no longer tolerate horse torment and horse killing in the state of New Jersey, and promise to expose New Jersey for its abominable support of this barbaric and illegally operating horse slaughterhouse unless immediate action is taken to stop Bravo Packing and abolish NJ horse slaughter.
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