• Petitioned James Horton

This petition was delivered to:

Castro County District Attorney
James Horton

Help Secure Justice For Abused and Neglected Calves at E6 Cattle Co.

    1. Petition by

      Mercy For Animals

May 2011


An undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals revealed shocking abuse of calves at the E6 Cattle Company in Hart, Texas. Federal laws do not protect cattle on farms, but activists argued that the abuse caught on camera -- calves being beaten with pickaxes, left to suffer without veterinary care, and worse -- violated animal cruelty laws. More than 2,000 Change.org members joined Mercy for Animals in urging Castro County officials to file charges against those responsible.

Warrants have been issued to charge five former employees of E6 Cattle with felony animal cruelty. The owner and the foreman are both facing misdemeanor charges. "We commend the Castro County District Attorney and Sheriff's Office for taking swift and decisive action in bringing these animal abusers to justice," said Nathan Runkle, Executive Director of Mercy for Animals. "Let this case be a wake-up call to the dairy industry that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated."

Mercy For Animals (MFA), a national non-profit animal protection organization is seeking criminal prosecution against E6 Cattle Company in Hart, Texas, after a farm employee documented, among other abuses, calves being beaten with pickaxes and hammers, workers kicking sick or injured calves in the head and standing on their necks and ribs, and calves left to suffer and die without veterinary care in clear violation of Texas law.

For more than two weeks in March of 2011, an MFA undercover investigator worked at E6 Cattle as a carpenter and documented the deplorable conditions and brutal mistreatment of animals at the facility, which confines more than 10,000 calves in tiny, feces-encrusted hutches. Video footage from the investigation can be viewed at MercyForAnimals.org/calves.

The owner of the facility, Kirt Espenson, acknowledged on hidden camera that the company does not provide medical care to “crossbred” calves – leaving many to suffer to death from untreated illnesses and injuries. Espenson also required his employees to bash in the calves' heads with a claw hammer, forcing them to condemn calves to a prolonged and horrific death. The American Veterinary Medical Association condemns the use of blows to the head as a means of killing young calves.

MFA promptly alerted law enforcement authorities and presented a detailed legal complaint and meticulously compiled evidence of the violations of Texas anti-cruelty law at E6 Cattle to the Castro County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office. The evidence demonstrates an ongoing pattern of torture, unjustifiable infliction of pain and suffering on animals, and a failure to provide necessary medical care. The case is currently under investigation.

Please join Mercy For Animals in calling for criminal prosecution of the factory farm facility and its owner Kirt Espenson by signing the petition below.

As MFA continues to expose the unconscionable cruelties of animal agriculture, and to diligently pursue justice by aiding prosecutions of animal abusers, consumers hold the greatest power of all to end the needless suffering of all farmed animals by adopting a healthy and compassionate vegan lifestyle. Luckily, thanks to the growing demand for vegan foods, and with the help of online resources like ChooseVeg.com, transitioning to a dairy-free diet is easier now than ever before.

Recent signatures


    1. Check out this story of how Mercy for Animals and Gentle Barn worked together to save four of the E6 calves:

      But all the calves who have suffered at E6 still need justice, so please keep signing and sharing!

    2. Reached 2 signatures
    3. Media outlets report that cattle market prices dropped after the cruelty at E6 was exposed:

    4. Reached 1 signatures
    5. Shocking Brutalization of Calves Revealed in Undercover Video

      In an undercover video released by Mercy For Animals this week, employees at the E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas, are shown bludgeoning calves with hammers and pickaxes.
      Among the other atrocities caught by an MFA investigator's hidden camera over a...

    6. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • j Johnson KINGWOOD, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      these are not human beings.....

    • deadra ullman WILLIAMSBURG, VA
      • over 3 years ago

      Please hold these violators of Texas animal welfare laws completely accountable under the law. These poor animals cannot speak for themselves and it is up to humans to speak and demand justice for the animals.

    • Rev.Marc Beauchamp SNAT BARBARA, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      I condemn this. God condemns it- He is coming back to throw all those who do this kind of evil into the lake of fire- He is giving us all time to repent! "Why will you die?"

      How in the name of all Mercy can you treat babies this way?

      • over 3 years ago

      What is wrong with these people. Don't they have a brain.

    • Janet Weeks SACRAMENTO, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      Espenson's mismanagement and callous disregard for the welfare and protection of the young animals is what caused their brutal deaths. He should man up and take his punishment to the fullest extent of the law, which ought to include surrendering ownership of his animal factory until he learns basic husbandry and welfare practices.


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