According to a just-released federal report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just cited the Cleveland County Agriculture & Livestock Exchange for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act following a PETA investigation into the Shelby Alternative Livestock Auction last October.
The citations stem from PETA’s footage of a coatimundi screaming and chittering out of terror while being auctioned off; a wallaby being dangled by the tail, causing him to struggle frantically; and an oryx who was nearly struck by a collapsing wall panel while breaking through makeshift corrals in a bid to escape his confinement.
The USDA—which previously cited the stockyard for illegally selling animals from unlicensed dealers at the auction—based the new citations entirely on PETA’s video footage, a rare move for the agency. Below, please find a statement from PETA Vice President Daniel Paden:
“This stockyard was licensed only a week before its first exotic-animal auction, and it has already racked up citations after letting in unlicensed dealers, dangling terrified animals by their tails, and chasing them through ramshackle pens that put everyone there in danger. PETA is calling on the veterinarians who own this stockyard to see the writing on the wall and make October’s auction its last.”
Earlier this month, while PETA supporters were holding a protest to demand that the stockyard’s owners, Drs. Steven and Melissa Matthews of Vale Veterinary Hospital, stop an auction planned for March 18 and 19 from going forward, that auction was canceled—but the veterinarians have yet to commit to banning exotic-animal auctions from their property permanently.