It was an extremely busy sales day at the New Holland Sales Barn. Upon our investigators’ arrival at 9:00 a.m., the parking lot was already full. Investigators noted that the kill buyers in attendance included Brian Moore, Bruce Rotz, and Arlow Kiehl.
Horse Traders present for the auction included Cranbury Sales Stables from New Jersey with three trucks, two Dodge Rams with long stock trailers, and a brand new blue Peterbilt semi with a single deck trailer. In a new development for Cranbury Sales Stables, the DOT information indicates that they just obtained their registration in July of 2015. In addition, Chucky Beam, who used to work for Brian Moore, was spotted wearing a Cranbury Sales Stables jacket, apparently now working for that organization.
Other Horse Traders in attendance included a buyer from Jenkins Horse & Mule from Virginia who is well known to purchase cheap horses at the Orange Auction in Virginia, and representatives from Cedar Ridge Farm, also from Virginia.
There were a great deal of horses for sale this day with many groups of loose, completely wild horses – sold as is with signed EIDs. All were bought by the kill buyers for an extremely low price. It almost appears as though there are people in the area now breeding horses just for slaughter, since these horses had nearly no chance of being purchased by a regular buyer. During the sale, investigators noted that one agitated stallion was put into a pen right next to mares, and in his anxious state, the stallion kept trying to get at them, which frightened the trapped mares.
Other horses purchased by kill buyers for very low prices included:
- Several horses that were very thin, some with fresh transport injuries, some with potential strangles infection
- Horse #233, a chestnut, had sores on his face and his hip bones were visible; he had trouble walking and was visibly limping
- Horse #281, an older draft horse, who was quite thin, was purchased by Bruce Rotz for $100
Indeed, the vast majority of the horses were purchased by kill buyers, with Cranbury Sales Stables, Rotz, and Moore, all getting full loads. Prices ranged from $75 to $900, with most being sold in the $300 range.
Investigators checked transport vehicles in the parking lot and found Arlow Kiehl’s Diamond K Ranch semi with a completely dilapidated single deck trailer. The trailer sides had multiple holes in it, exposed nails, and loose aluminum, all of which would put any horse transported inside at serious risk of grave injuries. The trailer should not be used for the transport of horses, or any other animals, in such dangerous condition. As such, AA has documented the derelict condition and will file an official complaint with the USDA.
Investigators also observed the adjacent barns to determine the conditions for the other animals present at the auction. The cattle sale was ongoing and investigators immediately noted that the pens were extremely overcrowded. All of the water troughs were bone dry and the pens were filthy and covered in manure. Handling during the sale was rough and electric prods used. One emaciated long-horn in a pen by himself, appeared to be very weak.
In the sheep barn, the conditions were not any better. The pens were overcrowded, and as the sale progressed, the handling was rough as the workers kicked the animals and pulled them by their tails. Investigators observed several goats with severe eye infections, their eyes swollen shut with puss in pens with other, healthy animals.
From past experience in finding live animals thrown out like trash, our investigators were drawn to the dumpsters where auction employees discard dead animals, and while it was filled with dead sheep, goats, and pigs, there were no live animals dumped amongst the dead.
Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor this auction as it remains a much needed endeavor.