Mississippi livestock auction workers face abuse charges

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Ten workers from the Southeast Mississippi Livestock auction in Hattiesburg and the Pontotoc Stockyard are facing several counts of animal cruelty. This after an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals where they captured egregious abuse on video.

"Including animals be kicked, shocked, beaten, dragged by their ears and tails and deprived of food and water and veterinary care.," said Matt Rice, Director of Investigations, Mercy for Animals. All are in clear violation of Mississippi's animal cruelty law."

Monday, Mercy for Animals filed affidavits to initiate charges against the workers. Rice says abuses like this are occurring at livestock auctions across the country.

"These are just the most recent investigations. We're calling on the National Livestock Marketing Association to crack down on animal cruelty by requiring its member auctions to ensure animals have food and water at all times, provide proper veterinary care, and also proper training and auditing to prevent this type of abuse from happening in the future."

An online petition is posted at mercyforanimals.org calling for the Livestock Marketing Association to end this type of abuse.

"We're also calling for law enforcement to enforce Mississippi anti cruelty laws."

In all, 49 affidavits have been filed. They will be sent to a judge who will issue arrest warrants. If found guilty the 10-workers could face fines and jail time for each charge.

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