Investigators arrived at the auction at 5:00 PM. The auction was very busy, a lot of trucks were waiting in line to unload animals. A red pickup with aluminum stake body sides was unloading dozens of sheep.
Inside the auction, the calf sale was ongoing. Hundreds of baby calves were in the pen area. At 5:20 PM, investigators observed an auction employee dragging a dead calf off of a trailer and down the alley. At the end of the alley, the worker threw the calf into the corner of an empty pen. Investigators were not able to determine why the calf died, most likely it occurred due to transport conditions. Outside, the truck and double deck trailer of calf dealer Weyandt was already backed up to the loading dock. As usual, many of the calves sold that night went into his trailer.
At 5:35 PM, investigators discovered two extremely emaciated (body score 1) Holstein cows in the outside “slow” pens. Both were struggling to remain standing, foaming from the mouth and appeared very weak. Investigators returned to the slow pens throughout the evening to keep an eye on them. There was no water in any of the pens and several of the cows in the outside pens showed signs of dehydration.
The auction lasted until well past midnight and handling became increasingly rough. Auction employees hit the animals hard with moving sticks to make them go faster. The cows in the outside pen remained there until 8:00am the next morning. Without ever having access to food or water, they were then loaded onto a double deck trailer and shipped off to slaughter. One can only imagine how many of these already weakened, exhausted animals will fall down in the trailer during the transport to the plant.
Conditions at the Greencastle Livestock Auction continue at a low standard. The handling is still inadequate. No water is provided to the animals all night and as a result many of the cows show signs of dehydration. Additionally, the auction continues to accept animals that are in deplorable condition and the conditions at the auction only seem to make the issue worse. Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor the auction.