Stop Auctioning Off Frightened Baby Animals

Target: Thomas J. Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

Goal: Stop inhumane live animal auctions and spare animals from the stress induced by these chaotic atmospheres.

Throughout the United States, hundreds of thousands of exotic animals and livestock are forced to endure the stressful conditions of live animal auctions. In these auctions, animals are treated like commodities and are peddled off to the highest bidder without any investigation into whether or not that individual can provide the animal with adequate care. Many animals purchased here are sent to slaughter, bought by roadside zoos and blackmarket traders, or used in canned hunts.

Animals sent to auction houses are transported in filthy trucks cramped with up to hundreds of other individuals, without access to food or water. Auction workers are typically only concerned with receiving the highest price per animal, and do little to ensure that animals feel comfortable or safe. In many cases, workers are seen kicking, dragging, and shoving visibly terrified and stressed out animals. During the event, animals are kept in small cages that usually don’t allow them enough space to even move or stand upright. The auction block itself is an extremely scary place for these animals, as they are subject to loud noises and rough handling by inconsiderate strangers. Animals are improperly handled, and some animals are carried into the auction block by their wings, tail, or leg.

The auction block knows no age, and animals as young as one week old are separated from their mothers, sold off to new owners who may do with them as they please. Livestock animals like cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep and exotic animals ranging from servals to coatimundis, the endangered oryx to tortoise are all auctioned off the same. These sentient animals are at the full discretion of people who view them as nothing more than a profit to be made.

We cannot put a price on an animal’s life. Sign this petition to end horrific live animal auctions.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

Live animal auctions are still commonly held throughout many states in the U.S.. However, behind the scenes, these events encourage extreme bouts of animal welfare violations that often go unnoticed. Animals featured in these events–ranging from livestock to “exotic” pets like wallabies and tortoises–are transported across the state lines in cramped vehicles, usually without any access to food or water.

Auctions are extremely stressful for animals involved, as they are often chaotic, filled with loud noises and total strangers. Workers treat animals like they are commodities rather than sentient beings, and kick, prod, shove, and drag frightened animals. Sometimes, these animals are only a week or so old. During the event, animals are confined to small cages that they can’t even stand up in. They are then brought to the auction block–carried in roughly by their tail, wing, or leg– and auctioned off to the highest bidder. It is up to the bidders what they will do with the animals next, and many send their animals off to slaughter or to roadside zoos and pet stores where the wild animals will be forced to live out their days behind cages.

Animals in the industrial farming and exotic pet trade industries suffer enough as is. We are asking you, Mr. Vilsack, to please ban these live animal auctions in the United States.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tom Blackwell

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