Feds Cite Local Exotic-Animal Auction Over Dead Llama, Worker Kicking Goat


For Immediate Release:
October 27, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Cookeville, Tenn. – Eleven new citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may have the public rethinking visits to the Triple W Exotic Animal Auction at the Wilson Horse & Mule Sale stockyard next week. According to an inspection report just obtained by PETA, a federal inspector recently cited Triple W after observing an employee kicking a goat and after finding a dead llama, severe crowding, wet and filthy enclosures, and more.

PETA notes that the USDA also cited unlicensed dealers who unlawfully sold animals at the auction, one of whom attempted to use an inactive USDA license in another facility’s name. Triple W has now been cited at every one of its exotic-animal auctions this year for failing to meet the minimum standards required by the federal Animal Welfare Act. After its auction just last month, Triple W received citations for the following issues, among others:

  • Failing to provide a black llama, who was later found dead by the USDA, with adequate veterinary care (According to an auction staff member, the animal “spent the morning constantly sitting down,” but instead of notifying the veterinarian, staff took him to the sale ring.)
  • Failing to handle multiple animals properly, including allowing a pen to become so severely crowded that “the sheep had no room to turn around or lie down” and allowing a goat to escape (In addition, an employee kicked a goat until he noticed that the inspector was present.)
  • Failing to provide bison, water buffaloes, sheep, and goats with dry enclosures (Several enclosures were “completely wet and soaked” for two days, and the inspector saw animals caked with “mud/dirt.”)

“These reports paint a nightmarish picture of neglect, suffering, and death,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is calling on everyone to stay away from this exotic-animal auction, which props up the cruel wildlife trade and breaks the law.”

PETA notes that Triple W has a long history of USDA citations, including for failing to provide a severely injured zebra with adequate veterinary care, smacking a bison with a 5-foot stick, and leaving an agitated camel vulnerable to unmonitored public contact. In September 2021, the agency cited the auction for accepting more than 40 animals from unlicensed dealers. In May 2021, a zebra escaped from an auction.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


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