08. February 2016

USA | New Holland - Pennsylvania | Horse auction | Horsemeat import

[Translate to English:] Ein stark abgemagertes Pferd ist zu schwach zum Stehen.

[Translate to English:] Weil der Strick zu kurz ist, kann das Pferd seinen Kopf nicht hinlegen.

[Translate to English:] Ein Pferd ist auf beiden Augen blind und somit transportunfähig.

[Translate to English:] Die meisten Pferde sind im Auktionsring nervös oder gar verängstigt.

We arrive at the weekly New Holland Sales Barn auction at 8:40. When we enter the stable, we immediately note that a weak mare is down, lying flat on her side. However, she is tied to the feed trough and her head is being held up by the short rope. She is extremely emaciated with hip bones and spine clearly visible. A group of people have gathered around the mare, mercilessly joking about her poor condition. Several of them are kicking her, trying to get her to stand. Finally, some auction workers arrive and manage to get her up. Moments later, a second equally emaciated horse is brought into the barn and the two horses are immediately taken outside by auction workers to be shot. Later, the auction veterinarian tells us that he is not going to report the owner of these horses to law enforcement – which is very disappointing to hear.

In the large outside pen, we find a draft horse that is blind in both eyes as well as a horse with a forehead injury, an injury likely received from transport. Both animals are later declared not fit for sale by the auction veterinarian, which was the right thing for him to do. However, it is important to note that in the US it is forbidden by law to transport blind horses, thus that horse should never have been brought to the auction.

The horse sale starts at 10:20. Around 70 horses are sold in total. A great number of horses are bought by private individuals, being too expensive for the kill buyers. Brian Moore ends up buying twelve horses and Bruce Rotz bought six.