T & M Horse Auction, Smiths Grove, KY 2/13/13

Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 13:00
Investigation Category: 

Investigators arrived at the bi-monthly auction at 4:00pm. The parking lot was already crowded with stock trailers from Kentucky and most of the surrounding states. The usual kill buyer/horse traders were present.  Burton of Columbia, KY arrived at the auction with approx.  17 horses crowded into a 30 foot trailer. Apparently, all of them already had current Coggins tests, since no blood was drawn upon arrival.

There were approx. 200 horses inside the pen area. For Coggins Testing workers put two horses at a time into the narrow chute to draw blood, which resulted in multiple horses kicking, falling and biting.

A bay horse in the “slaughter pens” had a massive growth on its fetlock / coronet band area that appeared to be an old injury left untreated for an extended period of time. The horse did not appear to be in pain, but was not able to put weight on that foot very well.  Several horses were observed with fresh head injuries, 3 were very thin (Tag #: 437, 0328, 434).

Investigators noticed an extremely overloaded trailer with mini burros backing up to the barn. One smaller burro was down upon arrival and the others were trampling over it.  The unloading was rough and unprofessional: Workers pushed, kicked and threw the animals out of the trailer. The burros were extremely frightened. The trampled burro was pulled out of the trailer by her ears after kicking her didn't work. She staggered around for a while, but was able to regain her bearings and joined the others.

The sale started at 6:00pm. As usual, the “slaughter prospects” sold at an extremely fast pace. R & R livestock purchased approx. 20 horses, Terry Blair from Tennessee bought another 20. The sale ended at 9:00pm. The kill buyers loaded last and investigators left the sale at 11:30pm.