USA | Shipshewana - Indiana | Horse auction | Horsemeat import
Our team arrives at the weekly horse auction in Shipshewana at 10:30. We have monitored this sale since 2009 and have reported the auction for its abusive handling of animals on many occasions. This visit is to determine if there has been any improvement in the auction’s treatment of the animals in their care.
Today it is a hot, sunny day. There are quite a few Amish buggy horses tied up behind the auction building, standing on the hot concrete with no shelter from the sun or access to water. Inside the barn, all the way in the back, we find a neglected Belgian Draft gelding with severely overgrown hooves in a pen by himself. No water is available for him or any of the horses in the loose horse pens. These are very crowded, although there are plenty of empty pens available for use and there is no need to pack the animals so tightly together in just four pens. The horses are agitated, many are kicking and biting. We detect a chestnut colt that is quite thin, with hip bones and ribs clearly showing and holding his head low.
The sale starts at 11:40, with the few minis and riding horses selling first. After these sold, the animals in the four loose horse pens are moved closer to the auction ring as one large group and put together in one pen. The horses are highly agitated at this point, and again biting and kicking each other. We spot a bay horse with a severely swollen right hind leg. The loose horses are moved individually through the auction ring and sold at a very fast pace. Several kill buyers are in attendance, among them Jeron Gold from Michigan, who delivers hundreds of horses each month to the Viande Richelieu plant in Québec.