Mercy for Animals calls for more auction oversight - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Mercy for Animals calls for more auction oversight

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A national animal welfare organization is calling on Mississippians to sign a petition that provides more protection for farm animals going through auctions. Wednesday four livestock auction workers in Hattiesburg were held accountable for acts of criminal animal cruelty. 

Mercy for Animals hopes the charges will send a message to other auctions that animal abuse will not be tolerated. Shocking hidden-camera footage of the men viciously beating, kicking, punching, and dragging animals was secretly recorded by Mercy for Animals at Southeast Mississippi Livestock in Hattiesburg, January through February. The Hattiesburg workers were sentenced Wednesday to 2 months probation and ordered to pay 238-dollars in fines and court fees. Misdemeanor penalties.

"In 2011 the state of Mississippi increased animals protections for cats and dogs. Yet farm animals are every bit as capable for experiencing pain and suffering as our beloved dogs and cats and they deserve the same protections," said Mercy for Animals General Counsel Vandhana Bala.

MFA said some of the animals were destined for slaughter others to be sold. None received basic ssustinance according to MFA.

"During the time they were held at southeast Mississippi Livestock, our investigator documented that neither food nor water was provided for any of these animals," said Bala. "In fact he has recorded on video the manager of this facility acknowledging that no food or water should be provided." 

Now the organization is calling on Mississippians to sign a petition urging the national Livestock Marketing Association to police its members."Mercy for Animals is calling on the national  association to crackdown on animal cruelty by requiring it's auctions to install video cameras to live stream to the internet to deter animal abuse," replied Bala. 

Affidavits were also signed after the February undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals at Pontotoc Stockyard where undercover video was taken. The organization says managers witnessed the abuse at Mississippi livestock businesses and did nothing to stop it.

The animals were kicked, whipped and an severely injured cow picked up with backhoe to be dumped into a trailer. 

According to MFA, nothing was ever done to prosecute the alleged cruelty.  

"Mercy for Animals praise the Forrest County Sheriff's Department and District Attorney's Office for their swift and decisive action in pursing justice in this important matter," added Bala.

To view the undercover video and find the petition visit the Mercy for Animals website.

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