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- A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at a livestock
auction in California has revealed an ongoing pattern of cruelty,
egregious violence, and severe neglect.
Hidden-camera footage secretly recorded by an MFA undercover
investigator working at Ontario Livestock Sales outside of Los
Angeles, California, reveals:
* "downed" animals -- those too sick or injured to even stand or
walk on their own -- being left to slowly suffer and die without food,
water or veterinary care;
* sick, injured and dying animals being kicked, pushed and dragged
into transport trucks to be sold and slaughtered for human
* workers throwing, beating, stomping on and kicking animals in
the face and body;
* baby goats being carelessly picked up by their necks and then
kicked or tossed around;
* workers grabbing, dragging and throwing animals by their heads,
necks, ears, horns, tails, and legs; and
* birds stuffed into bags and goats, sheep and other animals
overcrowded into small pens, forcing animals to stand on and even
trample each other.
California law prohibits auctions from selling or holding "downed"
animals who are too sick or injured to walk. Yet, at this auction,
these animals were sold, transported and left to suffer and die for
extended periods of time. Downed animals are more likely to carry
diseases that threaten public health if allowed to enter the human
Management at this auction witnessed downed animals and even
participated in routine violence and cruelty to animals at this
facility in clear violation of California law.
Upon reviewing the undercover footage, Temple Grandin, PhD, animal
welfare advisor to the USDA, wrote: "The handling was very rough and
kicking animals is not acceptable. If this auction had been a
federally inspected meat packing plant, they would have suspended
inspection and shut them down."
Dr. Bernard Rollin, Distinguished Professor of Animal Science at
Colorado State University, also condemned the operation, stating: "The
workers shown kicking, beating, dragging, pummeling, throwing, choking
the animals are either totally ignorant of proper animal handling, or,
what is more likely the case, are gratuitously unconcerned with the
suffering of the animals."
Following the undercover investigation, MFA immediately alerted law
enforcement authorities to violations of California's anti-cruelty
laws at Ontario Livestock Sales and presented a detailed legal
complaint and meticulously compiled evidence of such violations to the
San Bernardino County District Attorney. The evidence demonstrated an
ongoing pattern of cruelty, neglect and needless suffering.
As a result of MFA's investigation, and a follow up investigation by
law enforcement, seven employees and the auction's owner have been
charged with a total of 21 counts of animal cruelty. The case is
Sadly, these types of abuses are commonplace at auction houses
nationwide. As MFA continues to expose the unconscionable cruelties
inherent in animal agriculture, and to diligently pursue justice by
aiding prosecutions of animal abusers, consumers still hold the
greatest power of all to end the needless suffering and death of
farmed animals by adopting a compassionate, vegetarian diet.
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