During the course of the trial Susan Martin, the Humane Officer for the Lancaster County SPCA, testified that David Kolb, the General Manager of New Holland Sales Stable admitted to her during questioning that no protocols were in place for monitoring the premises for injured animals and that the sheep and the goat had been brought in already the night before on one of three potential trucks.
While the Judge explained his decision, he expressed his grave disappointment in the fact that the auction still lacked any sufficient supervision of its employees or effective emergency protocols.
New Holland is one of the largest auctions on the east coast and thousands of animals go through this sale every week and they are no strangers to controversy. This is not the first time New Holland has been found guilty based on evidence that Animals' Angels has provided. In 2007, the auction was convicted of animal cruelty based on an almost identical case wherein three sheep were left dying for hours without intervention or assistance by auction personnel. Since that conviction, Animals' Angels has been urging auction management to improve conditions and establish humane protocols, but the auction continues to turn a blind eye to the behavior of its employees and has yet to implement appropriate monitoring or euthanization procedures.
While the convictions may be few at auctions such as New Holland, the incidents of mistreatment are anything but. "We have been monitoring New Holland and similar auctions regularly for years," stated Sonja Meadows, president of Animals' Angels, Inc. "To obtain cruelty charges at any auction is much more difficult than one would think, even when the neglect and abuse seem very clear. The cruelty laws are often different for livestock than they are for companion animals. Cases like the one we won today can only help change that. These animals deserve better."
"Not only do we hope that New Holland will finally learn that they cannot get away with treating animals so inhumanely, but we are confident that this latest victory in the fight against animal cruelty will be a beacon to other auctions who are committing the same crimes. The message is loud and clear: animal cruelty of any kind will not be tolerated."
Sonja Meadows also had this to say:
"I'm thrilled that justice for these animals was secured today. I just hope this conviction will be the long overdue wake-up call for auction management and we finally see the much needed improvements for the animals at this auction. It is also our hope that law enforcement agencies will now make a more regular practice of visiting this auction to ensure that they are adhering to all regulations. Rest assured, whether that happens or not, Animals' Angels will be there, continuing to monitor this auction personally."
To read AA's full report from the investigation conducted on 2/16/15, please go here.
To see the video footage from AA's investigation, please go here.