SANTA ANA, Calif. – The owner and seven employees at a livestock auction house are facing animal cruelty charges after undercover video shot by an animal rights group depicted workers abusing animals that were up for sale at Ontario Livestock Sales.
The video, shot by Mercy for Animals, shows sheep, goats, pigs and other animals being beaten and stomped, while sick or injured animals were being neglected. Prosecutors with the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office filed 21 misdemeanor charges against the owner, identified as Horacio Santorsola and seven employees following another investigation by the Inland Valley Humane Society, according to the Associated Press.
The defendants have a July 20 court date. They face a maximum of a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.
A website for Ontario Livestock Sales says it is one of the oldest and largest livestock auctions in Southern California. It is family-owned and operated. Auctions are held every Tuesday, and between 1,000 and 1,300 head of livestock are sold weekly, according to the site.