Controversy Continues Over Mule Euthanasia for Museum Exhibit
Controversy over two mules euthanized for a Lubbock museum exhibit continues.
Two mules were purchased to be euthanized and taxidermied for a permanent part in the American Museum of Agriculture’s exhibit which highlights the use of animals in agriculture.
The museum says that the mules were going to be sold for dog food in Mexico had the group not purchased them, but others against their decision say that there was a third option.
Public outcry over this incident has been sizable, particularly here at KFYO.com and on our Facebook page.
While the majority of the comments were against the museum's actions, a few weighed in with a differing opinion.
One man named Patrick from San Antonio is threatening legal action against the American Museum of Agriculture. The letter, sent to Dan Taylor, president of the museum's board of directors, and Patti Jones, vice president of the board, reads:
Dear Mrs. Jones and Mr. Taylor;
Recently you voluntarily voted to purchase two mules, for the
sole purpose of having them killed, so their bodies could be used for the
educational value part of your American Museum of Agriculture.
This action on the Boards part is not only highly offensive
and immoral to millions of Texas citizens like me, it is also illegal. It is a
violation of the following Texas State Statutes:
The State Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 1, Section 1.011(a) All wild
animals, fur-bearing animals, wild birds, and wild fowl inside the borders of
this state are the property of the people of this state.
Texas Penal Code, Chapter 42, Section 42.09. Cruelty to Livestock
Animals (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or
(2) fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, or care for a
livestock animal in the person's custody;
(3) abandons unreasonably a livestock animal in the person's custody;
(5) administers poison to a livestock animal, other than cattle, horses,
sheep, swine, or goats, belonging to another without legal authority or the
owner's effective consent;
(1) “Abandon” includes abandoning a livestock animal in the person's
custody without making reasonable arrangements for assumption of
custody by another person.
(2) “Cruel manner” includes a manner that causes or permits unjustified or
unwarranted pain or suffering.
(3) “Custody” includes responsibility for the health, safety, and welfare of
a livestock animal subject to the person's care and control, regardless of
ownership of the livestock animal.
(5) “Livestock animal” means:
(B) a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny;
(6) “Necessary food, water, or care” includes food, water, or care provided
to the extent required to maintain the livestock animal in a state of good
You admitted publicly that your clear intentions were to purchase
2 mules, for the purpose of killing them for a museum display. With the
sale of these 2 mules, you took on the responsibility of insuring their good
health, not their deaths. Because you initially purchased these 2 animals
for nefarious purposes, the sale technically became void, and the
ownership of these 2 livestock animals, which are fur-bearing animals,
referred back to the people of the State of Texas.
When you relinquished control over the 2 mules, to the licensed
veterinarian, authorizing their killing, you essentially abandoned these
animals. you denied them the proper necessity of food, water or care, to
insure their good health.
I can show proof, from 3 different websites, that horses
were used to pull the McCormick Reaper, not mules. It is insulting to the
human intellect, that any responsible adult would even entertain the idea
of putting healthy animals to death, for anything other than the ending
of pain and suffering. The only pain and suffering in this case, was the
museums for the sake of publicity. You completely disregarded the rights of
these animals to live in peace.
I am now making a firm request that the Board of Directors of the
American Museum of Agriculture, decide to relinquish control of these two
stuffed animals, to The Gypsy Heart Horse Rescue, operated by Ramona
Foxworth. She will see to it that the mules receive a respectful burial.
If this action is not taken by the Board of Directors by September
30, 2012, I will file a lawsuit against the Board of Directors.
Some opposed to the museum's actions have created a Facebook page titled "Save the Lubbock Mules!" which has more than 1,200 members.