Video: Undercover investigation exposes animal cruelty - KCTV5

Video: Undercover investigation exposes animal cruelty

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Shocking video of animals being abused while awaiting auction was shot in an undercover operation.

Animal rights groups are demanding action from a Kansas City organization to put a stop to it.

Kansas City's Livestock Marketing Association isn't accused of the abuse, but they could play a big role in protecting the animals.

The animal rights group that shot that undercover video has called on the Livestock Marketing Association, based in the Northland, to send a strong message opposing what they've uncovered.

The organization says it is taking action to stop some of those practices.

Warning: The video contains graphic content.

"This is absolutely inhumane. That is a downed animal, can't move," said Rick Miller, an agricultural and community development agent with the Johnson County Extension office.

Miller says some of what he saw disturbed him.

"It is clear that animal either can't or won't get up and continuing to hit it won't change anything," he said.

The undercover video was shot by an investigator with Mercy for Animals, who took a job working at the two markets both in Mississippi.

Both markets are members of the Livestock Marketing Association, which released the following statement Monday.

"The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) is aware of unacceptable treatment of animals that occurred at two livestock auction markets in Mississippi. The events depicted in a video, as part of an undercover investigation, should not be taken as reflection of the entire livestock marketing industry. Animal abuse and neglect is inappropriate and not routine behavior at livestock auction markets in the United States.

Furthermore, the LMA has created and maintained an animal handling program that provides educational resources, including training and assessment, to member markets. Should a member market not adhere to the standards of the LMA animal handling program, and refuse to make correctional changes, expulsion from the Association will occur.

The LMA is working with the specific Mississippi livestock auction markets regarding animal welfare. We, as an Association, are committed to proper animal handling at livestock auction facilities."

The trade group says it has had an "animal handling program" for "training and assessment" since 2008. It says the video is not a fair reflection of the industry.

Miller said falls are often caused by animals taking a turn too quickly and too wide to pen them in.

That is something the Livestock Marketing Association says it has talked to this facility about, suggesting improvements to limit slipping.

But some things that are highlighted are things Miller calls common and perfectly acceptable - things that might disturb those not involved with cattle and hogs, like grabbing the animals by their tails and the squeals.

"When you're trying to process animals in some way, you're going to grab the first part of the animal you can get a hold of and then eventually get a better grip," Miller said.

The Livestock Marketing Association says if member markets don't adhere to standards and refuse to make changes, they will be expelled.

It says both markets have already made adjustments with the facilities and the staff.

The animal rights group has submitted documentation suggesting animal cruelty charges against 10 employees at those two Mississippi livestock markets.

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