The smaller auction has a covered pen area, a restaurant and a barn with a few additional pens and the sale area. It was a very hot and humid day with temperatures of 90 degrees. Fans were running above the sale area to cool down the visitors, but there were no fans installed in the pen area. Outside, a single deck trailer from Three Angel Farms in Tennessee was backed up to the loading ramp. The parking lot was crowded with pick up trucks and stock trailers. There was only one tractor/trailer present (no DOT #), but the license plates showed that it was from Tennessee. There were approx. 60 horses in the pen area. Investigators noted that most of the “cheap” horses were put together in one of the large pens. All of them had a metal clip attached to their mane, most likely a sign for an existing Coggins test. Several of them were thin, a grey mare was limping and a bay mare had a large growth on her belly. In another pen, three thin stallions were observed. They were very agitated, kicking and scratching the pen floor. Investigators also noted a thin mule, covered with lumps. The horse sale started at 6:00pm. Horses were ridden through or walked through the auction ring individually. Two guys were standing along the railing close to the auctioneer and were buying most of the cheaper horses. Horses sold for next to nothing, despite the fact that the auctioneer took a very long time trying to sell them. Several horses were “no-saled”. The sale ended at 7:45pm, 43 horses went through the auction ring. The horses from the large pen were not part of the auction. After the sale was over, investigators went outside to observe what would happen with the horses in the large pen. The parking lot started to clear out quickly and all the visitors left. The investigators were approached by someone apparently linked to the auction, who inquired what they were doing. When investigators responded that they were waiting for the horses in the large pen to be sold, the man responded that those were already bought by someone else. There was no more activity and investigators decided to leave the premises. When they returned early the next morning, the horses were gone.
Investigation of Kentucky Slaughter Buyers and Auctions
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