It’s been 15 years since Animal’s Angels first reported on the horrific abuse routinely inflicted on innocent farm animals at New Holland Sales Stables in Pennsylvania, and we are sad to report that the suffering continues without any sign of remorse from auction management or employees. Its status as the largest animal auction on the East Coast made New Holland a top priority for Animals’ Angels beginning in 2007. Over the years, our investigations have exposed a heartbreaking pattern of abuse and cruelty that continues to this day.
One example involved an incapacitated pig who was seen drowning in liquid manure. Our surveillance footage proved that the auction employees knew that the animal was there but chose to do nothing to alleviate its suffering. On another occasion, Animals’ Angels investigators found a group of sheep and goat “downers” (animals who are still alive but are too weak to get up or stand) who had been callously discarded next to the bodies of animals who had already died.
In four separate cases, our investigations resulted in official charges being filed, leading to the conviction of the auction for cruelty to animals on two occasions, and the conviction of a New Holland employee for cruelty to animals on another, along with one dismissal. In all of the cases one thing was made painfully clear: New Holland Sales Stables had demonstrated complete disregard for the welfare of the animals placed in their care.
No Remorse as New Holland Attempts Abuse Cover-up
In addition to securing the video evidence which led to the animal cruelty convictions, Animals’ Angels also met with auction management in the hopes of persuading New Holland to commit to improvements in animal care and handling. Unfortunately, instead of making the right decision and moving forward with new, humane policies and practices, the auction instead decided to hide behind a massive plywood wall they erected in the pig barn.
In an attempt to keep Animals’ Angels investigators from documenting, a property wide ban of photos and videos was also mandated by auction management, and it now appears that auction workers spend more time looking for animal rights advocates than they spend caring for the animals at the facility.
Undaunted by the auction’s blatant attempts to hide their cruel and abusive behavior, our investigators continue to visit the site, more determined than ever to document and report all acts of animal cruelty.
The Suffering at New Holland Continues (And Must Be Stopped)
In an effort to put pressure on New Holland management, we have increased the number of onsite investigations to the auction in 2022. So far this year we’ve already witnessed and documented multiple offenses, including the following, which are major concerns:
Our investigators observed numerous dead animals of various species on loading docks and inside pens. Based on the position and appearance of their bodies when they were found, it was clear the animals had been left to struggle and die without any assistance or intervention.
Pigs at the auction appear to receive the worst treatment. Our team witnessed the excessive use of electric prods on the pigs; even the faces and genitals of these poor animals were not spared. Employees were seen kicking, hitting, and slamming gates on the pigs, and several employees appeared to take a visible, perverse pleasure in delivering the abuse.
Horses in a condition that likely makes them unfit for sale according to Pennsylvania law have been accepted by the auction, as demonstrated during an investigation performed last month, when the Animals’ Angels team discovered an injured mare inside the barn. The horse’s left hind hock was greatly enlarged and appeared to be broken, and the right hind leg was also wounded, making it a struggle for the poor animal to walk. The horse should have never been accepted for sale but was nevertheless sold to kill buyer Bruce Rotz.
Animals’ Angels Ramping Up New Holland Investigations
In response to the horrific ongoing abuse and the refusal of the auction’s management to improve the handling of the animals in their care, Animals’ Angels has increased the budget allocated to investigative teams visiting the New Holland site.
More of our investigators than ever will now be deployed to fully document and report all offenses to the appropriate authorities.
Our team has also reached out to Lancaster County Humane Officers concerning a potential cooperation. We are exploring the possibility of having officers present during the auction as a deterrent to future abuse.
In addition, Animals’ Angels will create a compilation report of all our findings, documenting all the horrific incidents our investigators have witnessed at the auction over the years. The report will be distributed to the press and local tourist establishments in the hopes that public pressure can help persuade New Holland to stop the abuse.