Animal Cruelty Charges Filed After Mercy For Animals Undercover Investigation Exposes Shocking Abuse At Livestock Auction

Animal Protection Group Reveals Graphic Hidden-Camera Footage of Animals Being Kicked, Beaten, Stomped on and Left to Die, in Clear Violation of California Law

May 30, 2012, 17:38 ET from Mercy For Animals

LOS ANGELES, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercy For Animals (MFA), a national animal protection organization based in Los Angeles, released shocking hidden-camera video footage of severe animal abuse and neglect at Ontario Livestock Sales, one of the oldest and largest livestock auctions in Southern California.

The video footage, which led to 21 cruelty to animals charges against seven employees and the auction's owner, shows sheep, goats, pigs and other animals being kicked, beaten and stomped on, and sick or injured animals being neglected and left to slowly suffer and die without food, water or veterinary care.

After reviewing the hidden-camera footage, Dr. Temple Grandin, the world's leading expert on farmed animal welfare and advisor to the USDA and meat industry, said, "The handling was very rough and kicking animals is not acceptable. If this auction had been a federally inspected meat packing plant, they would have suspended inspection and shut them down."

Following the undercover investigation, MFA immediately alerted law enforcement authorities to violations of California's anti-cruelty laws at Ontario Livestock Sales and presented a detailed legal petition and meticulously compiled evidence of the violations to the San Bernardino County District Attorney. As a result of MFA's investigation, and a follow up investigation by law enforcement, seven employees and the auction's owner have been charged with a total of 21 counts of animal cruelty. The case is ongoing.

"This case graphically illustrates the cruel, inhumane and illegal abuses that farmed animals are all too often subjected to in California," said Nathan Runkle, executive director at Mercy For Animals. "In a civilized society, it is our moral obligation to protect all animals, including animals raised and killed for food, from needless suffering. We hope these charges send a strong message to livestock auctions that animal abuse will not be tolerated."

To view the undercover video, visit  

About Mercy For Animals (MFA)

Mercy For Animals is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies. Founded in 1999 and over 75,000 strong, MFA has become a leading voice for farmed animals through undercover cruelty investigation, corporate outreach efforts, legal advocacy, and consumer education campaigns. MFA's work exposing animal abuse in the nation's factory farms, slaughterhouses and hatcheries has triggered international outcry as well as legislative reforms, corporate animal welfare policy changes, and criminal prosecutions of animal abusers. The organization is headquartered in Los Angeles. For more information, see

SOURCE Mercy For Animals