Three times a year, Mt. Hope Auction’s Mid Ohio Alternative Animal and Bird Sale in Mount Hope, Ohio, grotesquely crams thousands of wild and exotic animals into barren, overcrowded pens and stacked cages in its barns. This horror show ignores the suffering of animals in desperate need of veterinary care, such as the ram in the below photograph who was found dead by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector; a fox who had a fractured, mangled leg; and multiple bone-thin nilgai left in a tiny pen with no water. The natural habitat of nilgai includes the plains and grasslands in the foreground of the Himalayas––they don’t belong in a cramped pen below the greedy eyes of roadside zoo owners.
After the auction received 21 citations for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in under two months, the USDA issued “Mt. Horror” an official warning in January 2023—including for failing to notice the condition of the aforementioned ram, who was left for dead, and for unsafe facilities that caused a USDA inspector to have to free a distressed whitetail deer who had ensnared her leg in a gap of her enclosure because apparently there were no staff around to assist.
Between September 2022 and March 2023, USDA inspectors cited this auction 36 times for only three events, averaging a dozen citations per nightmare. The Mt. Hope Auction is speciesism on full display—where thousands of individual animals are treated like nothing more than goods changing hands for human use.
PETA has alerted the USDA to ongoing apparent AWA violations, requesting that the agency hold everyone responsible accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Urge the owners to stop the horrors of Mt. Hope for good!