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Synopsis: In 2013, meatballs served in the restaurants at IKEA stores in Europe were found to contain an unadvertised ingredient – horsemeat. But the problem wasn’t just IKEA’s.

Within a short period of time, it was discovered there were other global companies selling beef products containing up to 40% horsemeat. The names were very familiar; Tesco, Birds Eye, and the international fast food chains, Taco Bell and Burger King.  Europe’s “Horsegate” as it became known, shocked an unsuspecting public around the world, but didn’t shock those in horse-related industries. That’s because those working horse racing, rodeo, and dressage are privy to a disturbing underground pipeline of which most of mainstream society is still completely unaware.

Kill Pen is an exploration of the criminal activity behind the underground horse slaughter industry in America. With candid interviews, whistleblower footage and underground video, Kill Pen investigates how and why unregulated horsemeat is getting into the human food chain. The film examines the risks of consumption in such a system, as many of these horses are diseased and heavily drugged with dangerous, disease-causing substances. Clearly, this is a system which should not flourish in the United States, but powerful political and economic forces encourage its existence. 

Ultimately, Kill Pen asks the essential question: Can our government come up with a legal solution to eliminate this pipeline? Or is government itself the core of the problem?


equine issues





Run Time

79 minutes

Directed by

Sharon Boeckle

Director's Statement

From the Kill Pen investigates horse slaughter in the United States, especially as it pertains to the current debate over its renewed legalization. In going beyond simply exploring the inhumane and unethical aspects of the practice, From the Kill Pen reveals the complicated economic and political “pipeline” that allows horse slaughter to thrive. Through an exploration of its foundations, from intentional overbreeding all the way to the deceptive meat distribution cycle, the film reveals the conflict to be an intricate cycle of greed which rebukes clear alternatives for the care and preservation of our nation’s horses.

Director's Bio

Sharon Boeckle founded Sila Productions after more than fifteen years experience in the study and teaching of writing and literary analysis, which led to a career in the art of storytelling through journalism, film, and fiction.
Her work as a videographer and photographer includes numerous clients in various industries, including TravelChannel.com, Florida travel and tourism organizations, international businesses, real estate professionals, world renowned hotels, and restauranteurs. Her award-winning feature documentary, From The Kill Pen, exposes the underground horse slaughter pipeline in the United States. Her 2013 documentary, Vendemmia, explores the Cinque Terre region of Italy and its struggle for sustainable tourism.

Sharon’s experience as a writer includes multiple screenplays, one of which, The Single Chick’s Guide to Italy, has now been adapted into a novel. She has written articles and web content for non-profits such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, for entertainment industry leaders, and for international clients in the tourism industry.

In founding Sila Productions, Sharon chose a name which reminds us that in making our daily living, we have an obligation to seek the highest level of integrity and only embrace practices which elevate and honor the human experience, and avoid any which exploit or otherwise inflict harm.

Sila Productions promises to its clients the highest level of integrity, timeliness, and professionalism.

Official selection

EQUUS FIlm Festival - USA - 2016

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