This Is Also All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day

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On the heels of recent Humane Society undercover investigations into chicken cruelty, pig cruelty, and Tennessee walking horse cruelty,Mercy For Animals hidden-camera operation at a livestock auction in L.A. has revealed "an ongoing pattern of cruelty, egregious violence, and severe neglect," including:

  • "Downed" animals -- those too sick or injured to even stand or walk on their own -- being left to slowly suffer and die without food, water or veterinary care.
  • Sick, injured and dying animals being kicked, pushed and dragged into transport trucks to be sold and slaughtered for human consumption.
  • Workers throwing, beating, stomping on and kicking animals in the face and body.
  • Baby goats being carelessly picked up by their necks and then kicked or tossed around.
  • Workers grabbing, dragging and throwing animals by their heads, necks, ears, horns, tails, and legs.
  • Birds stuffed into bags and goats, sheep and other animals overcrowded into small pens, forcing animals to stand on and even trample each other.

After reviewing the footage, Temple Grandin, Ph.D., an animal welfare advisor to the USDA, wrote: "The handling was very rough and kicking animals is not acceptable. If this auction had been a federally inspected meat packing plant, they would have suspended inspection and shut them down."

MFA's exposé has prompted a further investigation by law enforcement, and seven employees and the auction's owner have been charged with a total of 21 counts of animal cruelty. The case is ongoing.

(Heads up -- footage is graphic.)

[thanks, kat!]

This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day

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The Humane Society of the United States is out with another damning undercover investigation, this one into the mistreatment of the famed Tennessee Walking Horses, show horses known for their unique four-beat "running walk."

The investigation found many of the horses to be subjected to a cruel practice known as soring -- the intentional infliction of pain to feet and legs to produce an exaggerated gait known as the "Big Lick."

The video shows Jackie McConnell, one of the sport's leading trainers, and his stable hands beating horses with wooden sticks and using electric cattle prods on them to make them lift their feet in the pronounced gait judges like to see. McConnell's staff also apply caustic chemicals to the ankles of the horses and them wrap them with plastic wrap so the chemicals eat into the skin.

"That creates intense pain and then the ankles are wrapped with large metal chains so the horses flinch, or raise their feet even higher," said the Humane Society's Keith Dane.

Soring has been illegal for more than 40 years under the federal Horse Protection Act. As a result of the HSUS investigation, McConnell and his associates have been charged with felony conspiracy to violate the HPA, as well as numerous violations of the Tennessee Cruelty to Animals Statute. McConnell is expected to plead guilty to one count.

(Heads up -- graphic animal abuse.)

[hsus]

This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day

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Another day, another appalling undercover investigation from the Humane Society of the United States: The animal advocacy group has released evidence -- and video footage -- of pig abuse at a factory farm that allegedly is a supplier to Tyson Foods.

Video shot in April at the Wyoming Premium Farms facility in Wheatland shows workers kicking living piglets like soccer balls; swinging sick piglets in circles by their hind legs; striking mother pigs with their fists; and repeatedly and forcefully kicking them as they resisted leaving their young.

A Tyson Foods spokesman denies the company buys directly from the farm:

Tyson Foods does not buy any of the hogs raised on this farm for our pork processing plants. ... A company that we own has purchased hogs from the farm. We will not purchase from this farm until we've had a chance to investigate.

(Heads up -- video contains graphic images of animal abuse.)

[bi]