This morning, PETA sent an urgent letter calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate and, as appropriate, take action against the Lolli Bros. Livestock Market, Inc.—one of the country’s largest animal auctions and the primary auction for exotic animals and animals from zoos—during the winter Alternative Livestock auction in Macon, Missouri, from December 6 to 8 for several apparent animal-welfare violations documented by a concerned citizen during the summer Alternative Livestock auction.
Video and photographic footage from the summer auction shows handlers roughly pulling and shoving several emus in the auction ring, dangling a two-year-old wallaby by the tail, and hitting a camel in the head repeatedly with a paddle at the end of a broomstick. Many animals were confined to cramped, often filthy makeshift cages, including a capybara whose cage was so small that he or she could barely turn around. A cat was documented frantically scratching the side of his or her cage, and a zebra was pacing back and forth, a sign of severe psychological distress. Three cows were emaciated and in apparent need of veterinary care.
“The neglect, crowded and filthy cages, and cruel handling at Lolli Bros. show why it’s so important never to acquire animals from auctions, breeders, fairs, or anywhere else except animal shelters,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on authorities to investigate this evidence of inadequate enclosures and suffering animals and, if warranted, throw the book at this atrocious dealer.”
Lolli Bros. has previously been cited for confining cats to cramped cages with no room to turn around or lie down and rabbits, primates, and a fennec fox to unsanitary cages, some of which were filled with waste. It was also cited for keeping rabbits in enclosures with sharp wire protrusions that posed a serious injury risk.
According to USDA records from 2015, the auction facilitated the sale of over 10,000 animals in 2014, making nearly 3 million dollars in profit.