Investigators arrived at the auction facility at 12:17 pm. The auction parking lot was full of vehicles and stock trailers. Four double deck trailers/semis were parked on the side. The facility is large, modern and clean, including a restaurant and offices.
Investigators did not observe any food or water provided to the animals. The pen area is located behind the sale barn and is not accessible to the public. A red plywood fence runs around the pen area to shield the area from the public view. In general the handling was satisfactory with a few exceptions noted below. Horses were used to move animals in the outside pen area.
The sale was in process when investigators arrived. In the ring area two hydraulic gates are used. One controls the entrance to the ring and the second controls the exit from the ring. The cattle were moved with moving paddles. During the loading it was noted that drivers loaded the cattle with electric prods. Calves were moved by hand. At the end of the sale as the slaughter cattle were sold, on two occasions numerous, as many as nine cows, were sent through the ring at the same time. In an effort to sort some of the cows out in the ring, the hydraulic gate was used to segregate the cattle. This caused cows to be caught in the gate and in one instance, the cow’s head was pinned in the gate. One steer was limping heavily and favoring its left hind leg. Another cow had an eye injury that the auctioneer called a “dry eye”.
Loading took place on the side of the facility. Pen workers on foot and horseback brought the cattle to the loading chute and the drivers loaded the animals onto the trailers. Most drivers used electric prods to load the animals. Investigators left at 6:00 pm.