Some comments on this auction were critical of the Mennonite and Amish practice of selling and selling horses at "kill pens." What are kill pens?
Some people looking for inexpensive riding horses and ponies purchase them at auction but many of the horses sold at auctions are purchased by "killer buyers" who represent or sell to horse slaughterhouses.
Some horses are purchased by middlemen who take them home, fatten them up and send them to slaughter weeks or months later. Some horses end up traveling from one auction to another, changing hands numerous times, before they end up at the slaughter plant.
Some horses are in excellent health while others have been trucked to auction by haulers from farms where they received little to no care. Often these horses suffer from extreme neglect. Starvation is the most common and obvious affliction; some horses have bones and ribs so visible that they look like skeletons. Also seen are horses with infections such as pneumonia and strangles, wounds and serious foot problems that make it exceedingly difficult and painful for them to walk.
Because killer buyers are paid by the pound for the horses they deliver, they look for healthy horses in good body condition, as well as horses in poor condition that can be fattened up. Currently, there are no horse slaughter plants in the US, but horses are still being shipped to Canadian and Mexican plants.
Read all about kill pens HERE