Pennsylvania Says Hungry Calves at Livestock Auction “Standard Practice” of Industry
Farm Sanctuary Urges Public to Demand that Institutionalized Abuse be Punished
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – March 10, 2011 – Frightened, hungry calves discovered at the Lebanon Valley Livestock Auction in Pennsylvania among the remains of deceased animals were deemed on Tuesday to be merely on a “strict diet” and not the victims of cruelty. In response to that announcement by the Humane Society of Lebanon County, Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary (farmsanctuary.org), the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, issues the following statement:
“Liz Stefanik was driving by the Lebanon Valley Livestock Auction when she saw a sign near the road that read: ‘Dead Animal Removal.’ She felt that something was wrong and investigated. A skull and the lifeless bodies of several animals confirmed her suspicions. Upon further investigation, she found 13 calves confined without food or water in a pen at the back of the auction complex.
“After investigating the property, Kevin Gonzalez, lead police officer at the Lebanon County Humane Society, however, stated that ‘everything fell under standard agricultural practices for the state of Pennsylvania,’ and therefore no cruelty charges will be filed. They were just ‘on a strict diet,’ says Officer Gonzalez of the calves.
“Cruelty is the norm in today’s livestock industry, where farm animals are treated like commodities instead of living, feeling creatures. It is common for male dairy calves to be taken from their mothers immediately at birth, and deprived of the vital nutrients and comfort only their mothers can provide. Some of the calves are used for veal production, where they are confined in crates so small they cannot walk, turn around or engage in basic natural behaviors for the duration of their short, miserable lives. Throughout our 25 year history as an organization, Farm Sanctuary has come to the aid of calves who were neglected and treated like trash at stockyards time and again. We rehabilitate them, give them names and allow them to live out their lives free from fear and suffering at our sanctuaries in New York and California.
“Citizens are appalled when they find out about the inhumane conditions and intolerable suffering animals are subjected to at stockyards and on today’s modern industrial farms. They are shocked to learn that farm animals are excluded from the federal Animal Welfare Act and from many state anti-cruelty laws, and when they’ve had the opportunity to vote on initiatives that would prohibit some of the industry’s worst abuses, they have overwhelmingly supported these measures.
“This incident reminds us that laws need to be changed to more accurately reflect societal values and to prevent the egregious suffering of animals exploited by the food industry. Like all animals, farm animals have feelings, and they deserve to be treated with respect.”
To speak with Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur, please contact Meredith Turner at 646-369-6212 or email@example.com.
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, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., 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 farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607-583-2225.
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