USA | Sugarcreek - Ohio | Horse auction | Horsemeat import
We return to the weekly horse sale in Sugarcreek operated by Ohio’s largest kill buyer, Leroy Baker. He is currently shipping approximately three loads of horses a week to the Viande Richelieu plant in Québec, Canada.
There are approximately 125 horses inside the pen area when we arrive at midday. We note a severely emaciated gelding in a pen by himself. The horse has severe diarrhoea and the lower portion of his body is covered in mud as if he had been lying in deep mud for quite some time. We provide the horse with some hay which he eagerly starts eating. This horse should have never been accepted by the sale barn in his condition. We see several other very thin horses. A gelding has an open wound on his knee and another has a severely splintered hoof.
The auction starts at 14:00. Baker and a second kill buyer are doing most of the bidding during the sale. The emaciated gelding is sold for 20 USD. The handling of the horses by auction workers remains a grave concern. Once again, we observe that too many horses are being moved to the auction ring at the same time, resulting in one horse going down and many others becoming extremely agitated. The worker at the ring entrance uses his stick excessively to force the horses forward. Additionally, the kill pens are packed too tightly, resulting in unnecessary kicking, fighting and biting.
We will report all observed violations to the competent authorities and continue to monitor this horse auction.