When investigators arrived at the weekly livestock auction in New Holland, PA on 2/28/22, they immediately noticed that the cattle pens were extremely crowded. Several of the pen held so many animals that they had no space to lay down.
One of the large pens close to the loading ramps held baby calves. Several of them appeared to be recently born with their umbilical cords still attached. They stood on wobbly legs, shivering from being exposed to the frigid winter temperatures. Several had severe diarrhea. One of them hobbled over to the investigators and started sucking on one of their fingers as if trying to nurse.
The pen next to them held so-called “butcher cows”, older dairy cows being discarded and sold to slaughter once their milk production levels are dropping. All of them were limping with emaciated bodies and Mastitis infected udders. One of them had a grotesquely swollen face, most likely from a tooth abscess that had been left untreated for a very long time. These already weakened cows are at a great risk of becoming non-ambulatory at the sale (for info https://www.animalsangels.org/issues/non-ambulatory-animals), which is why Animals’ Angels has been advocating for stricter laws/better treatment/special care at the auction for these vulnerable animals. However, any call for improvement has been falling on deaf ears at the New Holland sale.
Workers were observed being very impatient with both these old cows and the baby calves, pushing them around and cussing them out.
The auction is attended by several large meat buyers and veal farmers. While the female calves will most likely become the next generation of dairy cows, many of the male calves will be shipped of to a closed-up veal production barn and then slaughtered at the age of six months.