FORREST, N.M. (KRQE) - The state had a busy day Monday seizing horses they believe are in danger.
The livestock board says it seized a total of 25 malnourished or crippled horses from two separate farms in southeastern New Mexico after tips came in.
They found horses wails as flies swarmed the malnourished and crippled bodies of 12 horses.
"If we can see a rib that's a one. If we can see the spine process and it's very discernable that's a one. If you can see the hip bones protruding on the sides that's a one," said New Mexico Livestock Board Shawn Davis.
That one, according to Davis, means the horses are almost to the point of starvation.
"On Saturday, when we were out there, there wasn't even adequate water out there," Davis said, which is one of the main reasons his team seized all 12 horses form a Forrest farm today.
He says of the 12 horses only one was crippled and only one had some type of skin infection, but all appeared to be malnourished and poorly taken care of.
Livestock officials also seized 13 horses from a Portales farm.
"There was a dead horse on the premises, a young horse. The owner stated it had collicked and died, but again, no vet care was sought before it died," said Davis.
Davis said his team found five emaciated horses.
"One horse was so crippled its back feet were knuckling over," he said.
He says out of all 25 horses seized, not one had seen a vet in the last year.
"We do try to pursue criminal charges every chance we get just to make sure that the owner realizes that horses cannot be treated that way," Davis said.
Livestock officials say a vet will examine the horses Tuesday morning. Then they will be transported to a rescue center.
No charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.
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