Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cruelty investigation at Shipshewana Auction in Indiana

Shipshewana auction is located in one of Indiana's largest Amish communities. With around a half million visitors a year, tourism is big business in Shipshewana. AA investigators visited the Shipshewana auction on September 16, 2009. From the catwalk above the pens they filmed a young worker named Richard engaged in a "martial arts style" battle with a goat. The one-sided battle with the hornless goat went on for over three minutes. Whirling and kicking Richard hit the goat repeatedly in the nose, face and head with full force, followed by body blows and fists.
Watch the video...

We left the auction greatly troubled but determined. Our investigation proved that the handling of the animals at Shipshewana auction is completely unacceptable

and so brutal that auction workers violate Indiana's animal cruelty laws. IC 35-46-3-12 states that "to unnecessarily or cruelly strike an animal, or to throw the animal against an object causing the animal to suffer severe pain or injury" is animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor.

It seems obvious that Shipshewana employees have not received any or adequate training in the humane handling of animals - or the consequences of violating animal cruelty laws. No supervision by auction management was ever observed, making management at the Shipshewana auction appear equally culpable for negligent and inhumane treatment.

AA has filed a complaint along with supporting documentation of the incident with both state and federal agencies.

AA requested the following:
•that auction management and the young worker who violated Indiana animal cruelty laws are prosecuted for animal cruelty.
•that the young worker's employment by the auction is terminated immediately.
•that auction management has all employees thoroughly trained in the humane and legal handle animals.
•that auction management provides adequate supervision of employees to ensure compliance with animal cruelty laws and welfare standards.
What has happened:

AA was notified last week that the employment of the worker has been terminated. Furthermore, auction management has informed the rest of their employees that there is a zero tolerance policy for employees found improperly handling livestock and all employees have received additional training.