USA | Middleburg - Pennsylvania | Horse auction | Horsemeat import
The Middleburg horse auction is frequented by a lot of members of the Mennonite and Amish communities who dump their worn-out work or buggy horses at the sale. Today, as usual, the slaughter horse pens are severely overcrowded, with horses packed in like sardines. There are five to seven horses tied next to each other, unable to move. The pens have no water or hay available. We notice that several horses have neglected, overgrown hooves. An older horse has difficulty walking. We see a Belgian draft that has a large halter sore across the face. There are several extremely thin horses with hip bones and spines clearly visible.
The sale starts at 11:30. All of the Pennsylvania kill buyers are in attendance, including Bruce Rotz and Brian Moore. Bruce Rotz buys a mare that is announced as “aggressive” for $100, joking: “We will see if she kicks where she’s going…”
After the sale, Rotz’s and Moore’s horses are divided up into two large sections in the pen area, awaiting loading. The aggressive mare purchased by Rotz is seen kicking several of the other horses in the pen. A smaller mare that is kicked in her side falls down heavily and is in obvious distress afterwards. One can only image what the presence of such an aggressive horse will do inside a trailer packed full with 30 other horses heading to Canada for slaughter. We notice that Rotz’s trailer is now protected against views from outside, as both sides of the trailer are almost completely boarded up with plywood, making it impossible to check the condition of the horses inside. Rotz has made sure that we won’t know how many of these already weakened horses arrive unharmed and alive at the slaughter plant.