Exotic animal horror show must shut down: auction managers shown terrorizing and abusing wildlife

PETA Video Footage Reveals Wallaby, Coatimundi and Other Animals Being Manhandled

For immediate release:
January 25, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Shelby, North Carolina – A PETA Eyewitness Investigation in Shelby’s Alternative Livestock Auction at the Cleveland County Agriculture Livestock Exchange shows vulnerable species of animals – including wild animals native to other countries – being physically abused, manhandled and tormented by roustabouts with seemingly no knowledge nor any interest in their treatment and needs:

  • Workers kicked animals, hit them with sticks, dragged goats by the horns, and held a frenzied, restless wallaby and an upside-down coatimundi by the tail.
  • A worker rammed a kid’s head through a metal fence.
  • Workers lifted animals – including nocturnal species and terrified prey – into the air and shoved their cages, while auctioneers and vendors screamed.
  • One zonkey thrashed and screamed when his leg was caught in a pen door, and he was seen limping in pain after finally being freed.
  • The exotic cattle up for auction, including zebus and Watusi cows, were slender skeletons, with prominent ribs and hip bones.
  • The animals, some of which had been transported hundreds of miles, were crammed into crowded enclosures and makeshift cages so small they could not fully stand or turn around.

Video and photos of the survey are available here and here.

PETA sent official complaints this morning to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), calling for an investigation into violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act, and to Cleveland County Animal Services, calling for an immediate investigation into multiple apparent violations of county and state animal protection laws. PETA is also urging operators of the Cleveland County Agricultural Livestock Exchange to cancel the exotic pet auction scheduled for March 18 and 19 and to ban exotic pet auctions on its premises, as handlers and operators clearly do not even know the basic methods handling animals to reduce fear, panic and pain.

Auction patrons included the owner of Iredell County’s famous roadside zoo, Zootastic Park, who has been repeatedly cited by the USDA for failing to provide the animals with adequate veterinary care, among other violations, who bought birds and offered servals, cranes, a parrot, and a wallaby for sale.

“Animals at the Shelby Alternative Livestock Auction were kicked, chased, punched and yelled at before being sold, said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA Senior Vice President, Cruelty Investigations. “PETA wants this to be the last time wallabies, swans, zonkeys and other vulnerable exotic animals are abused at the Cleveland County Agriculture Livestock Exchange.”

PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to be eaten, used for entertainment, or otherwise abused” — opposes speciesism, a human supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s news gathering and investigative reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, Where instagram.