Middleburg Horse Auction, PA 4/30/11

Monday, May 2, 2011 - 09:45
Investigation Category: 

Investigators arrived at the monthly sale at 9:30am. Many stock trailers were already lined up to the loading dock waiting to unload. There were approx. 130 horses , 20 ponies/miniature horses, 4 donkeys and 3 Llamas to be sold that day. The riding horses were kept in the large pens in the back barn, with access to hay and water.  However, all horses were tied to the railings and some were not able to reach the water and the hay. Many of the horses were Amish buggy horses or working horses and the Amish were “test-driving” the buggy horses in front of the barn. Several of the draft horses had overgrown/split hooves. One Belgium draft had a fresh injury at his nostrils, which was bleeding profusely. Despite the fact that there was plenty of space available in the large pens in the back, all the “slaughter prospects” were put in the darkest section of the barn, with no access to food or water. These pens also have low wooden beams running across and the horses crammed in there were hitting their heads. It was so dark and some of the pens were so crowded that the condition of the horses was difficult to judge. However, investigators noted one horse with a badly swollen hind leg and several emaciated horses.

The horse sale started about 40 minutes late at 11:37am. Kill buyers Bruce Rotz & son were present as well as Fisher and two buyers for Brian Moore. Rotz clearly dominated the sale, bidding on every horse between $300-$500. The buyers for Brian Moore stopped bidding as soon as the price increased over $275. They also purchased several emaciated horses for as little as $20. Rotz bought more than 40 horses, Brian Moore bought approx. 28. Moore’s truck with the single deck trailer arrived at the sale at 2:00pm.