Update: Feds Cite Livestock Exchange Over Terrified Animals, Dangerous Conditions

For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Shelby, N.C. – According to a just-released federal report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited the Cleveland County Agriculture & Livestock Exchange for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act following a PETA investigation into the Shelby Alternative Livestock Auction last October. The citations stem from PETA’s footage of a coatimundi screaming and chittering out of terror while being auctioned off; a wallaby being dangled by the tail, causing him to struggle frantically; and an oryx who was nearly struck by a collapsing wall panel while breaking through makeshift corrals in a bid to escape his confinement.

The USDA—which previously cited the stockyard for illegally selling animals from unlicensed dealers at the auction—based the new citations entirely on PETA’s video footage, a rare move for the agency. Below, please find a statement from PETA Vice President Daniel Paden:

This stockyard was licensed only a week before its first exotic-animal auction, and it has already racked up citations after letting in unlicensed dealers, dangling terrified animals by their tails, and chasing them through ramshackle pens that put everyone there in danger. PETA is calling on the veterinarians who own this stockyard to see the writing on the wall and make October’s auction its last.

Earlier this month, while PETA supporters were holding a protest to demand that the stockyard’s owners, Drs. Steven and Melissa Matthews of Vale Veterinary Hospital, stop an auction planned for March 18 and 19 from going forward (photos available here), that auction was canceled—but the veterinarians have yet to commit to banning exotic-animal auctions from their property permanently.

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, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind