AA presented evidence from numerous CA auctions. We reported on the common problems observed and also on specific areas of concern. The biggest concern continues to be older dairy cows. They are often in very poor, weakened condition and arrive or become non ambulatory at auction. AA’s position is that cows unable to bear weight on all four legs should never be accepted for sale; that every auction should create a “slow pen” with plenty of room, water, food and shelter for “high risk” cows; and that every auction should implement a euthanasia protocol.
Agreement was reached regarding our main concerns. Also discussed was working together on animal handling guidelines and educational seminars for dairy producers. AA will provide downer protocol and investigative pictures for educational purposes. The LMA representative agreed to a write letter to all LMA member auctions, asking them for open and constructive communication with AA to discuss areas of concerns discovered at the individual market. We believe that the meeting was productive and a very important step on the way to improve animal welfare at California auctions.