Bruce Rotz, d/b/a/ Rotz Livestock has been a mainstay in the horse slaughter business for years and is the only Pennsylvania kill buyer who still has an ongoing contract with the Richelieu plant in Quebec, Canada. Rotz made national news in 2013 when one of his trucks, with a trailer containing 30 horses destined for slaughter at the Richelieu plant, caught on fire on Highway I-81 in New York. Tragically, all of the horses were burned alive. In 2016, another one of his trucks crashed on its way home from the Knoxville auction in Tennessee, causing ten horses to die a gruesome death inside a packed trailer.
Public documents show that Rotz has violated the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations several times (IES Case Numbers PA08035, PA08038, NY07290) and that he had to pay $1,300 for shipping blind and injured horses to slaughter. Other offenses include shipping non-segregated stallions and failing to fill out the required owner-shipper certificates. Animals’ Angels has been documenting his activities since 2008 and has followed several of his trucks to the Richelieu plant. The handling and the treatment of the horses observed routinely showed a complete disregard for the welfare of the animals.
When investigators arrived at his collecting station in Shippensburg, PA, they immediately noticed that the Canadian truck of “Guy D’Anjou et Fils” (DOT 1539636), a regular shipper for Rotz Livestock, was backed up to the loading ramp. Next to the ramp, a temporary holding pen had been fenced in, which held approx. 18-20 horses. All horses still had the yellow auction tags, most likely from the New Holland sale, still attached to them.
At 10:23am, several individuals started moving the horses into the barn. Several of the horses were very agitated and anxious to enter the building. Twenty minutes later, they were moved back into the outside pen and investigators noticed that now all horses had slaughter tags attached to them. Investigators continued to observe the premises and as expected, the D’Anjou truck was loaded and started his regular route to the Canadian border.
Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor this kill buyer’s activities and report all observations to the relevant authorities.