Monday, April 15, 2013
Those With Compassion for Horses Will Find a Trip to New Holland Painful
One of our Pennsylvanians asked me if I’ve attended New Holland Sales Stable and if so, what the conditions are. I’ve been there a number of times.
Within the walls of the auction house there are many head of horses between minis, ponies, donks, mules, pleasure horses, and work horses. Some are very scared, some are calling out for friends that may or may not be on the premises and some are just complacent. Sometimes mares have foals at their sides that are sold separately and you hear their anguished cries as they are taken from one another. There is a room full of used up drafts the Amish are dumping, usually thin and you know where they will end up. Usually there are a number of TBs there from off the track as well as STBs that may be ex-racers or horses the Amish are again, dumping, perhaps because they've come up lame and there's no time to wait for a new ride. They'll drive the lame one there, sell her and take home a healthier one, at least for the time being. Often you see horses with injuries. Once I attended and saw a horse with an obviously broken leg. He could not bear any weight on it, and that was heart breaking. It took hours for Dr. Holt to "get around" to putting the horse down. You also often see open wounds. Last week there was a horse with a gaping head wound that maybe people - including some local rescues - saw, but the statement I heard from a PA "rescuer" was that Dr. Holt just didn't have time to get to the horse. Yet, none of these people appear to have called the local authorities. Of course, it's said they don't respond anyway, but if I had been there I'd have screamed bloody murder. I'm done with sitting on my hands when it comes to animal abuse. The rescuers who work with the kill buyers don't want to rock the boat, so they look the other way. I don't know what everyone else’s excuse was.
Quite a few kill buyers are in attendance, as well as some just plain brokers who don’t hold contracts with slaughter plants. The primary players are Brian Moore, who has a contract in Richelieu in Canada, as well as Bruce Rotz who sells to both Canada and Mexico. Horses in bad shape go to Mexico because their standards are lower than Canada’s in terms of what is an acceptable horse to ship to slaughter. Any other of a number of horse traders may show. Phil Shirk, Nickerson, Kiehl…etc.
It is emotionally draining and heart-wrenching to attend these auctions. The picture I’ve uploaded is of a horse that was brought to auction a few weeks ago. Dr. Holt did “no-sale” the horse due to his emaciated condition. We were unable to find out what happened to him after the auction.
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