For Immediate Release:
November 28, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Mount Hope, Ohio – Today, PETA submitted a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alerting it to numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) at the Mid-Ohio Alternative Animal & Bird Sale at Mt. Hope Auction’s event in early November and requesting that the agency hold those responsible for the animals’ suffering fully accountable.
PETA’s new complaint cites numerous reasons to prohibit that event from being held in the future, including animals left without food or water, held in crowded and/or inadequate cages, and in urgent need of veterinary and other care, including a sheep with overgrown hooves that made it hard to walk, goats with nose and eye discharge, and a water buffalo whose harness had become embedded into his or her face, leaving a deep laceration.
The injured water buffalo. Credit: PETA
“The Mt. Hope Auction has repeatedly shown that it will shamelessly make a buck off animals who are treated like old furniture, not as living, feeling beings,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is calling on the feds to throw the book at the organizers of this cesspool of cruelty before other sick and suffering animals are sold to the highest bidder.”
PETA previously submitted a complaint to the USDA after releasing an exposé of the Mid Ohio Alternative Animal and Bird Sale operated by the auction house in mid-September, which revealed that animals were suffering from severe and obvious illnesses. These included a fox with a broken leg as well as animals who had open wounds and respiratory infection symptoms, were emaciated and/or lethargic, and exhibited abnormal repetitive behavior, including pacing frantically and biting their cages.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.