When investigators arrived at the weekly Middleburg livestock and small animal auction, the facility was full of activity and lots of animals were being unloading for the sales. Investigators found the treatment of the poultry and small animals to be unsatisfactory. No food or water was provided to the animals. The cages used to house the animals still had no solid flooring and the rabbits and birds were forced to stand on the bare wire. A man, who appeared to be an auction worker, began unloading chickens and placing them into cages for the sale. He removed the chickens from their transport crate by their heads, feet and sometimes by their wings and then proceeded to stuff the chickens into crates that were way too small. Another worker was overheard raising concerns that the cages were too small, but he replied that he would “make them fit”.
In the livestock barn, the pens were not overcrowded, however, none of the pens had any food or water. The animal moving was done by hand or paddle, no electric prods were observed. One individual, who appeared to be buyer, was observed entering the pig pen and kicking the pigs to make them move out of his way. One pen contained 15 sows, some which were quite small compared to the others. The larger sows were very agitated and were fighting with each other. The concrete floor was very slippery and they had a very difficult time maintaining their footing. Investigators observed several sows having bad falls on the floor. One smaller sow was lame and unable to put any weight on her right hind leg. She was constantly being pushed into the pen sides during the fighting among the other sows. During the investigators’ visit, several auction employees were seen going by the pen and one worker went into the pen but no one removed the injured sow from the pen. A second and much smaller sow was seen with a softball size lump on her right hind leg, which made it difficult for her to walk. Animals’ Angels will continue to work to improve the conditions and treatment.