Despite “ag-gag” laws that restrict undercover investigations, animal rights organizations are doing an outstanding job exposing acts of cruelty to farm animals. On a near weekly basis the public is learning about the atrocities and seeing that justice and change are steadily being accomplished in the industry. Mercy For Animals released hidden camera footage on Wednesday that recorded shocking abuse at one of the oldest and largest livestock auctions in Southern California.
The video which was filmed at Ontario Livestock Sales has led to 21 cruelty to animals charges against seven employees and the owner of the auction house. MFA explained the graphic footage shows “sheep, goats, pigs and other animals being kicked, beaten and stomped on, and sick or injured animals being neglected and left to slowly suffer and die without food, water or veterinary care.”
The group let Dr. Temple Grandin, the world’s leading expert on farmed animal welfare and advisor to the USDA and meat industry, look at the footage. She said, “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.”
Following the investigation MFA presented their findings to law enforcement authorities and the San Bernardino County District Attorney. As a result, seven employees and the owner of the auction house were charged. The case is ongoing.
“This case graphically illustrates the cruel, inhumane and illegal abuses that farmed animals are all too often subjected to in California,” said Nathan Runkle, executive director at Mercy For Animals. “In a civilized society, it is our moral obligation to protect all animals, including animals raised and killed for food, from needless suffering. We hope these charges send a strong message to livestock auctions that animal abuse will not be tolerated.”
The undercover video shows:
- “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 consumption;
- 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.
Photo Credit: Choffee