Target: Don Brown, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture
Goal: Do not allow livestock auctions to abuse, neglect, or sell injured animals.
A large livestock auction in Fort Collins, Colorado has been reported as the site of serious animal cruelty and neglect. Referred to by many as a “kill auction,” Centennial Livestock Auction sells most of its animals to slaughter. The animals on the auction block have no doubt endured an arduous trip to Centennial—many are crammed in trailers and carted in from other states—and likely a less than pampered life at a farm or feedlot prior. Sadly, even the last few days of these animals’ lives may be filled with horror. A local news team reportedly noted injured animals being sold, such as a lamb with a leg so damaged it dangled as it walked. The news team allegedly also observed animals languishing in the hot sun for hours, some of which appeared to be dead or so sick they couldn’t move. Interviews with witnesses revealed additional complaints about animal welfare including more severely injured animals being sold.
Colorado law prohibits the sale of seriously injured livestock. Furthermore, all animals offered for auction are supposed to be inspected for health by a state licensed veterinarian. When the working veterinarian at Centennial was questioned about this, he admitted to selling injured animals because he thought it was easier to send them to slaughter than home for medical care. This kind of reckless disregard for both state law and animal welfare is completely unacceptable.
Licensed livestock auction sites in Colorado are paid an “inspection fee” for each animal sold. Thus, the system incentivizes livestock sale over welfare. There appears to be a complete lack of oversight or policing of animal welfare regulations. As long as there is no enforcement or incentive for auctions such as Centennial to treat their livestock kindly, the neglect and abuse will continue. Please sign the petition below to encourage the Colorado Department of Agriculture to hold livestock auctioneers responsible for the welfare of their animals and to stop selling injured animals.
Dear Commissioner Brown,
I am deeply disturbed by the lack of enforcement of animal welfare regulations at livestock auctions in Colorado, specifically Centennial Livestock Auction. Animals at Centennial have been observed enduring callous cruelty. A local news team recently revealed Centennial to be allegedly neglecting animals in their care and selling severely injured individuals. This is not only cruel but also illegal under Colorado state law. When questioned about the inspection and sale of certain animals, the veterinarian on staff at Centennial seemed to think it was under his discretion to sell these animals to slaughter despite being unable to walk or otherwise seriously injured. This is completely unacceptable. All facilities that house livestock must be held to standards of animal care, regardless of where the animals are being sold to. Federal inspections of Centennial have completely ignored animal welfare. Furthermore, auction sites are paid an “inspection fee” for each animal sold seemingly regardless of the health of the animal. This places emphasis on auctions to sell more animals at the expense of animal welfare.
Animals used in agriculture suffer greatly at the hands of careless individuals. Self-policing systems cannot be trusted and there must be a certain amount of oversight to protect these animals from undue cruelty. Please take a stand for animal welfare and ensure auction sites such as Centennial are held responsible for the care of their animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Nik Page