PETA files complaint against Buckeye livestock auction where escaped wallaby was purchased

Peta filed a complaint against the Buckeye livestock auction that sold the wallaby that escaped in July, claiming it wants accountability.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:28 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Body camera video from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office showed deputies and a Valley rescue organization capturing a wallaby that got loose in July. Arizona’s Family Investigates has learned that the wallaby came from a livestock auction in Buckeye and that PETA has filed a complaint against it.

Murphy’s Livestock Auction has been in operation for eight years. It’s a family-run business, and they point out that wallabies are legal to own in Arizona. Shawn Murphy not only runs the livestock auctions, he also owns it. He said his focus is on helping small and medium-sized farms. “Having a fair marketplace, we’re USDA licensed… We primarily focus on horses, birds and small livestock,” Murphy said.

But every once in a while, wallabies come in and go up for sale. “Definitely a due diligence that we have to do and that we have to relay to potential buyers to make sure they’re aware of the responsibilities that go along with those animals,” Murphy said.

He said he did that with the couple who bought the wallaby that escaped his enclosure in July. The couple then donated that wallaby, known as Wally and his brother, Joey, to a Valley rescue. “Animal auctions are cesspools of cruelty. These thinking, feeling beings are treated like inanimate merchandise,” Debbie Metzler, the Director of Captive Animal Welfare for PETA, said.

PETA has requested the USDA, which oversees auctions like this, investigate Murphy’s. Arizona’s Family Investigates asked Murphy, “PETA had looked at this video and said that one of the wallabies that had escaped was missing a digit and that maybe he wasn’t treated in the way he should have been treated. I’m wondering what your response is to that?”

“Again, what happened? Do we know if it was something that happened at birth? Did it happen in an accident? Did it happen before they acquired it?” Murphy responded.

“At least they might be able to be held accountable, the parties responsible for letting this happen in the first place,” Metzler said.

Another issue is that PETA said to sell wallabies, Murphy’s needs to be licensed under the Animal Welfare Act, and they’re not. Arizona’s Family Investigates asked if Murphy would consider selling wallabies moving forward. “I think if they come in and I’m helping someone – it’s a case-by-case scenario,” he responded.

PETA said they still haven’t heard back from the USDA on their complaint but that it usually takes months for that to happen. They explained it’s important for there to be accountability.

Arizona’s Family Investigates reached out to the USDA and hasn’t heard back.

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