Farmington officials plead for peace, patience amid horse-dragging inquiry

Photo: Animal Care of Davis County

FARMINGTON, Utah, Sept. 18, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Farmington city officials are pleading with residents to remain peaceful and patient as authorities investigate a horse-dragging incident captured on video and shared on social media last week.

Surveillance video shared by a Farmington resident shows two horses tethered behind a trailer and being pulled by a truck. One of the horses struggles to stay on its feet in the video and ends up dragging its back hooves against the paved roadway before the driver stops.

“There have been calls made for violence to city staff, elected officials and the horse owner as a possible solution to this situation,” Farmington city officials said in a news release Monday. “Needless to say, we are concerned for the safety of humans involved in this incident and we strongly request patience and empathy as this investigation plays out.”

City officials were notified of the video Sept. 11, and Animal Care of Davis County, which handles animal control for the city, responded to the incident, according to the news release.

“Davis County Animal Care is conducting the investigation of this incident, and we will continue to be in communication with the county as this investigation progresses,” the release says.

“The city recognizes this is a traumatic incident and understands the public concern around this matter. Animal cruelty is a serious issue, and we are concerned for the welfare of the animals within our community.”

The Humane Society of Utah condemned the truck driver’s actions in a statement Saturday.

“Eyewitness accounts from concerned neighbors detail the ordeal in which one of the horses tragically collapsed due to its inability to keep pace with the truck,” the statement says.

“The Utah animal cruelty laws specifically apply to horses when they are treated in a manner not acceptable in animal husbandry. The dragging of horses behind a truck is unacceptable and subjects the truck’s driver to penalties under the criminal code.”

The HSU statement urges Davis County to “initiate legal proceedings against the driver, seeking charges for animal cruelty and traffic violations.”

“The driver’s actions endangered the lives and well-being of these horses and posed a grave risk to public safety, with the potential for serious traffic wrecks or collisions in the area.”


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