My Big Fat Day of Activism: Stockyard sales, Chalking, Greyhound Racing
From Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies Articles Archive

FROM Sandra Isobel Kyle
March 2021

The differences an activist can make by photographing animal abuses at stockyards and racetracks...

Sheep stockyard

At 9:30am today I was on the road to Feilding to visit my first ever stockyard sales. I had arranged to meet Campbell, the Organizer of Palmerston North Animal Save, who lives locally. My Taranaki Animal Save friends warned me not to buy too much stock (lol), but I seriously did think about buying one sheep that I could keep in my back section until I could rehome him or her - one saved from the slaughterhouse.

chalking activism

Sheep stockyard

On a Friday sheep are usually bid for and sold in big lots, sometimes in their hundreds, and when I spoke to agents and farmers saying I would like one sheep please, they couldn’t help smiling... But I must say they were kind, and tried to be helpful. Anyway, I decided not to buy a sheep today but I will keep aside the $120.00 or so they’re worth, and head down again another time.

Cattle stockyard

Please look at the pictures I took, including some close ups of the beautiful sheep, lambs, cows and weaners we saw today. How anyone could ever harm them is beyond my comprehension. But I didn’t have the heavy feeling I usually have as I stand at my slaughterhouse vigils, because the majority of these animals were going to another farm for fattening, to be sent on to the slaughterhouse within the year.

One of the agents I spoke to, up from Oamaru in the South Island, said there are a lot of factors to consider when buying and selling stock in terms of return on money. He pointed out how an agent or farmer can tell if they’re ready to go to the slaughterhouse or if they need further fattening. For example, a prime cow with ‘plenty of meat’ will have a flat back, and you won’t see the ridge along their spine. But buyers need to be sure that the cost of feeding the animals for the next however many months will prove a good investment on the money they pay today. Consequently, agents and buyers had calculators in their hands, ‘doing the sums’ before they bid.

When we left the saleyard (sheepless), I discovered that I just happened to have some chalk in my car that I just happened to put in this morning in case an opportunity just happened to present itself. Campbell offered to leave PGG Wrightson (rural supplies company) a little message, but an employee came and booted us out before he could even finish his sentence! I asked him if we could at least complete the message, adding that ‘Animals Are Not Con’… doesn’t make sense! But he was adamant, so I found a small side entrance to the yards and left a wee message there instead. And driving back home to Whanganui through Bulls (‘Herd of Bulls? A Town Like No Udder’) I noticed that someone else with chalk had left a message for all to see….

This evening I joined Elizabeth, Anna and Lonia outside the Whanganui Hatrick Stadium where we protest greyhound racing every Friday. Tonight an incident occured that involved us contacting the police, so will say nothing more about it here. Looking at the online Stewards' Reports on the races I see that there were two quite serious injuries to greyhounds tonight.

Greyhound racetrack

Greyhounds racing

Big Time Flash was referred to the Vet and found to have pain in his right latissimus, quadricep and whip muscle. In a later race Giraffe Club was seen noticeably faltering in his gallop and post-race the Vet found a torn gracillis and quadricep. Poor dogs, repeatedly put in harm's way, having to put up with painful injuries, for money.

So I have had a long day. I hope you will at least look at the photos I took.

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