On May 12th, 2022, Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) received an anonymous tip pertaining to farm animals living in deplorable conditions at an illegal animal slaughter operation in Idaho Falls, Idaho, after discovering a Facebook ad of pigs and meat for sale.
After receiving the tip, an ARM investigator, posing as a customer, contacted a man who identified himself as Luis through the number posted in the ad.
The ARM investigator entered the property and immediately confirmed the nature of the business as an animal slaughter farm. Animals observed and documented included cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and geese, all in poor condition and emaciated. Many animals are housed in small inhumane pens and are deprived of any water altogether. Animals are eating and being fed the remains of freshly slaughtered animals.
The property is in a state of disarray, with years’ worth of trash and waste building up across the property, including inside the animal’s living areas.
Meat procured from the animals butchered on-site is being illegally sold to the public through small markets, butcher shops, and catering events. Due to the unsanitary state of the entire property, there is a serious public health and safety risk from the potentially diseased and contaminated meat that is entering the community’s food supply.
This illegal animal slaughter business has been selling live animals for sacrifice and slaughter, and butchering animals for human consumption, for 25 years.
The slaughter farm operation is owned and operated by four brothers who all operate their ‘backyard butcher shops’ businesses out of the property. They all have their own sections and individual animal slaughter areas on the property where they trade and share all animals on site.
During this investigation, ARM witnessed, documented, and obtained evidence of animals being inhumanely handled and slaughtered in gross violation of the Humane Slaughter Act of the United States. Multiple inhumane acts being subjected to the animals at the Zamora slaughter farm also fall under the Idaho Statue of cruelty to animals.
The Zamora animal slaughter farm is not only engaged in egregious animal cruelty crimes. There is also an extensive list of public health, safety, building/zoning, and environmental violations being committed. These include, but are not limited to:
- Animals are not stunned by an appropriate device or rendered unconscious and insensible to pain, prior to the slaughter process, per the Humane Slaughter Act.
- Animals are inhumanely handled, dragged, and butchered in front of other animals.
- Animals are being hammered to death.
- Animals are choked to death.
- Goats, sheep, and pigs are stabbed repeatedly in the throat and chest with foot-long blades and bludgeoned to the skull with hammers while screaming and thrusting, displaying clear signs of life.
- Animals are conscious and aware as they are hoisted, skinned, and butchered.
- Animals live in deplorable conditions and are standing in up to 3 ft of excrement with no dry areas to lie down.
- Calves are contained in inadequately sized pens of 20 x 10 ft areas trapped in their own waste.
- Animals are forced to live with rotting week-to-month-old animal carcasses.
- Animals have no clean or drinkable water.
- Animals are in poor health, emaciated, suffering from debilitating parasites, untreated wounds, and are exposed to septic breeding grounds for infectious diseases.
- Animals are butchered on the ground on top of week-old decaying animal carcasses.
- Meat from slaughtered animals onsite is sold illegally to off-the-street customers with no licenses or permits.
- Sale of unadulterated meat.
- Animals are butchered in unsanitary, illegal, open-air butcher areas allowing the meat to be exposed to flies and insects.
- Contaminated meat from animals living in unsanitary conditions is entering the public food supply – a serious human health violation and risk of contagious disease.
- Animal carcasses are illegally disposed of in piles all over the property as vultures feed and possibly spread infectious diseases to surrounding areas of the county and state.
- Animal skins, body parts, dead animals, and trash are strewn throughout the property.
- The burn that surrounds the animal area contains hundreds of deceased animal bodies.
- Blood from slaughtered animals, excessive animal excrement, and dead carcasses close to residential living areas and are creating an illegal public health and safety issue by body fluids pooling into the open and possibly contaminating the area’s groundwater. Zoning and building codes are being violated.
- Animals are sold for ritualistic practices.
ARM witnessed and documented three felony acts of animal cruelty resulting in death and countless misdemeanor crimes during its investigation executed by the Zamora brothers and their two children who took part in the crimes.
No one agency, county, state, or federal are or have been monitoring activities on-site for its 25-year duration. The owners do not have a proper business license and hold no insurance.
ARM’s report and all of the evidence it obtained has been submitted to the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Department and nine regulatory agencies requesting that all owners be arrested, the slaughterhouse closed down, and investigated by county, state, and federal agencies.
Under the state of Idaho statutes, any and all animals living in such conditions must be rescued and brought to safety or sanctuary.