NEW HOLLAND, Pa., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, New Holland Sales Stable was convicted of animal cruelty in a Lancaster County courthouse for neglecting three disabled sheep. While this is the first such conviction, concerns about animal abuse have swirled around the New Holland stockyard for more than a decade amid various reports about living animals discarded on the dead pile or in garbage bins. The case was filed by Keith Mohler, a humane enforcement officer with Farm Sanctuary. The stockyard was convicted on three counts of animal cruelty and ordered to pay $500 for each count. Officer Mohler charged the stockyard with three counts of animal cruelty for failing to provide needed veterinary care or to humanely euthanize three "downed" sheep (animals too sick to stand). The incapacitated animals were found in the afternoon of September 3, 2006, by a member of Animals Angels. The sheep were left to suffer without receiving appropriate food, water or veterinary care. They were humanely euthanized by Mohler at 10 p.m. that evening. "These workers knew what kind of condition these animals were in and failed to provide them with basic humane consideration. All three sheep were in terrible condition, and one was missing hunks of skin all over her body," Mohler said. "Failing to act responsibly and leaving these animals to languish without proper care constitutes a violation of Pennsylvania law." The sheep apparently arrived on a truck from Nebraska that also contained 16 to 18 dead sheep. "Attaining animal cruelty convictions at stockyards and farms -- even when the cruelties are blatant and horrifying to most people -- are extremely difficult because of broad agricultural exemptions in state anti-cruelty codes," said Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary. "These animals deserve protection under the law and cases like this help define unacceptable treatment of farm animals. The capacity for these animals to suffer is just as great as any companion animal's, making the case that animal cruelty laws should be based on sentience, rather than arbitrary labels as 'commodities' or 'pets.'" This cruelty case is not the first associated with New Holland Sales Stable. In February 2006, the stockyard was acquitted of animal cruelty on a technicality after leaving a live sheep in a dumpster. In 2004, a man who dragged a horse at the stockyard was convicted of animal cruelty. The New Holland stockyard is a major player in the horse slaughter industry, and it has drawn the ire of citizens opposed to the slaughter and export of horse meat for human consumption. "New Holland Sales Stable has propagated animal cruelty for many years," added Baur. "Despite numerous meetings with humane agents attempting to improve conditions, the stockyard has continued to act irresponsibly. The stockyard management seems more interested in hiding problems, rather than in solving them." Recently, the stockyard enclosed the walkway above the pens where it had been possible to view the animals below. Doing so will obstruct the view of concerned citizens trying to see the pens and document the animals' treatment. Note to media: Cruelty case photos available upon request. About Farm Sanctuary Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, NY and Orland, CA provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at http://www.farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607- 583-2225.
SOURCE Farm Sanctuary