Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Video prompts animal-cruelty probe Albuquerque, NM

Activists go undercover at livestock auction

Updated: Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012, 7:43 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012, 7:32 PM MDT
LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) - Undercover video shows what appears to be a horrific case of animal cruelty in Los Lunas.

The abuse allegedly happened at Southwest Livestock. It's an auction house in the city.

Activists with Animals' Angels , a national nonprofit based in Maryland, say they've gotten so many complaints from New Mexicans they decided to check things out for themselves.

The group shot disturbing undercover video on March 10 showing four horses barely clinging to life. The activist group say they requested the animals be humanely euthanized multiple times only to have their requests ignored.

Executive Director Sojna Meadows of Animal's Angels said the dying horses weren't the only ones being abused. She claims there were hundreds of malnourished horses on site, many of them bleeding and suffering from diseases.
"The horses were so thin, I can only describe them as walking death," Meadows said.

After seeing the video, New Mexico's Livestock Board launched a full animal cruelty investigation. They say results should be made public in about two weeks.
The board emphasized it does not take sides on these types of issues until all of the facts have been released.

They also say it's possible the animals where brought to the auction already dying.
In that case Meadows says they should have been euthanized immediately.

A Livestock Board investigator who was present at the March 10 auction has been put on paid leave pending the results of the state's findings. KRQE News 13 has been told he's worked for the board since 2001.

Meanwhile Meadows called this case sickening.
"I've seen a lot of horrible case in the past six years, but this on is really among the worst," she said.

The Livestock Board says this is the first time they've investigated Southwest Livestock. Meadows claims they have been cited by the USDA repeatedly for violations to equine to slaughter regulations.
When KRQE News 13 visited the livestock auction Tuesday the owner declined to meet for an interview.

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