My wife and I are in the market to acquire additional sheep for our Placerville Home of 2.5 Acres. Our first day of shopping was a Friday evening visit to the 2012 El Dorado County Fair Sheep barn to look for possible candidates for a Saturday morning sheep auction. Supporting the 4-H kids and a selection of well-cared for market sheep suited us, or so I thought. It was only until a very polite 4-H leader approached us to explain the terms of the auction sale and from her explanation there were two words that stood out and I will forever remember: “Terminal Auction.”
This means without exception, all animals sold at the auction will be trucked off to a state-licensed killing floor and delivered to the buyers in freezer bags. Whoa. Who made this rule?
We have always reasoned that if we paid the highest asking price at an auction, than the future of the animal is up to the buyer, but not at this fair. Can someone from the 4-H community explain this rule to us and other possible buyers? As a buyer, why can’t I chose: 1) state killing floor, 2) take home to de-stress, and then slaughter on our timetable, 3) keep animal as a possible breeder?
For us, this auction is closed to outsiders and is only open for those who want lamb chops for dinner.