Animal markets: animal cruelty in compliance with the system

There are no animal markets without suffering and stress for the animals.

Animals’ Angels goes against abuses, and wants to reach an end in the long term markets. In an effort to improve the situation for the animals on the markets, we are in dialogue with traders and local authorities.


Here are some of the reports from the cruel situation in the animal markets,  all over the world.

1. Saleyards and animal markets in Australia


Australia is one of the world’s largest ‘producers’ and exporters of so-called ‘farmed animals’ and likes to boast its animal welfare laws. Although these are in force, the animals are not adequately protected on the transports and markets. Dealing with them is rude and careless. Since 2004 Animals’ Angels devotes itself completely to these animals and demands changes.

On markets and sale yards in Australia the most lucrative deals are possible. In these auctions we always see the same problems:

Totally crowded pens.
Animals pushed to the ground, who are barely able to get up.
No water, no food.
No shade despite high temperatures.
Overheated animals.
Missing / insufficient care of injured / ill animals.
Forcible unloading and loading.
Overcrowded transport vehicles.
Animals with trapped body parts, with no possibility to break free.
Transport of non-transportable animals.
Insufficient weather protection: no roofs on the top truck level.

Compliance with animal welfare laws is expected by the parties involved.


2. Animal markets in Bulgaria


In Bulgaria there are only a few animal markets left. The conditions for the animals there are however intolerable and far from the specifications of the EU. Lack of infrastructure, completely unsuitable transport vehicles, a very crude, often brutal handling of the animals and lack of official control lead to serious animal protection violations. That is why Animals’ Angels has been working to improve the situation for the animals on the Bulgarian markets since 2013, and calls for their closure.


In March 2013, Animals’ Angels checked the Bulgarian animal markets for the first time and reported to the competent authorities at national and EU level about the abuses found. Since 2017, we are back on site and unfortunately had to find the same problems again. In March 2018, we reviewed the conditions on site again, but unfortunately without significant improvement.


3. Animal markets in Indiarespect for cows?


India is known as the land of sacred, flower- decorated cows. But behind the scenes it looks different: India is the world’s largest dairy producer and the largest exporter of beef.
The handling of cattle on markets, during transport and during slaughter is unimaginable cruelty, despite the strict animal welfare laws. This also applies to other farm animals, such as pigs and poultry. Since 2012, we are on site and are committed to patience and perseverance for change.


The handling of the animals is rough and brutal. The transporters are systematically overloaded. We also observe how the animals are fixed on a truck lying on the ground – a particularly perfidious transport practice that we only know from India.

India’s laws to protect animals in transport and markets are more advanced and many times more stringent than in Europe. But the practice looks different:

No shade, despite enormous temperatures.
No water supply.
There is often a lack of loading ramps and the simplest infrastructure.
The unloading and loading of the cattle are hectic and brutal. With sticks, the animals are beaten and pushed, even on the most sensitive parts of the body.
Pigs and chickens are offered for sale with their legs bound on the ground.
The means of transport are absolutely unsuitable for animals. Goats and chickens are transported with laced legs on bicycles, scooters or in luggage compartments. Cattle in car rickshaws or on loading areas of open trucks.
Overloading is one of the main problems. Cattle are forced to stand side by side in the back of the truck or forced to their knees and tied to the ground. The powerful animals tremble all over and urinate out of fear and stress.
There are hardly any controls. Bribery is a ubiquitous problem.


4. Animal markets in Morocco



Agriculture, and especially livestock farming, is one of the main economic pillars of Morocco. Nevertheless, there is no national animal protection law that at least guarantees the minimum requirements for the protection of the “farm animals”. Even today, the majority of ‘farm animals’ are traded and sold in so-called souks (weekly markets in towns and villages). The conditions for the animals and the handling of them are terrible. Since 2014, Animals’ Angels has been there to raise awareness and achieve sustainable change for the animals.


In Morocco mainly small-scale animal husbandry predominate. Many rural families live with and from their animals, which they regularly sell at souks (weekly markets). There we find again and again the same, destructive animal welfare problems:

Brutal and medieval methods of slaughter.
Animals tied together on the legs, necks or wings.
Animals raised and carried on legs and coat.
No water and no food.
No shade, despite high temperatures.
Neglected, exhausted and dehydrated animals.
Injured or sick animals are not cared for.
Missing infrastructure.
Completely overworked ‘loads’ animals, such as donkeys and horses.

The shipments on the markets reflect the catastrophic conditions:

Absolutely unsuitable transport vehicles without loading ramp or ventilation.
Cattle being dragged onto double-decker transporters without a ramp.
Sheep stowed away on roofs of vehicles or in luggage compartments.
Chickens hanging upside down or transported in sacks.
Very brutal handling during unloading / loading.

Animal welfare is irrelevant – despite the fact that the Moroccan government gives agricultural development top priority. To date, there is no animal protection law in Morocco and there is no official contro


5. Animal markets in Poland



While ‘slaughter’ animal markets in Germany are almost a thing of the past, in Poland they are still an integral part of ‘livestock farming’. Animals’ Angels has been operating in Poland since 2003. With perseverance, perseverance and a good local partner, we have contributed to the fact that Polish livestock has become firmly established in the critical public and political discourse.


In most animal markets in Poland, the current EU legislation is not implemented:

The animals have no access to water.
Most of them are short on hard concrete floor.
The transport vehicles are often unsuitable.
Even if fixed ramps are available, many animals are pulled without ramp on the loading areas, pushed and beaten.
Poultry is sold and transported in plastic bags and potato sacks.
The authorities are still far too seldom in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

6. Animal markets in Romania


Large parts of the population of Romania live in the countryside and breed and keep animals for their own needs. Since these animals also have a lively trade, local animal markets have a long tradition here. Since Romania joined the EU in 2007, EU legislation on the protection of animals during transport has also applied here. However, our research in recent years clearly shows that these laws are widely disregarded in the markets.


In the animal markets in Romania, the applicable EU laws are not enforced. We constantly observe and document similar problems there:

The animals are transported in all kinds of inappropriate vehicles: on horse-drawn vehicles, bicycles, in the trunk of passenger cars or on the back of mini-vans and sprinters.
Due to the lack of infrastructure, the animals are often sold directly out of the vehicles, and not placed in pens.
The animals usually do not get water – even in summer.
The animals are tied to the legs, placed on the often wet, cold and dirty soil, and so offered for sale.
Violent treatment, such. B. wearing or grinding on individual limbs, wings or ears.
Illegal slaughter on some markets (mainly before Christmas or Easter).

So-called ‘train tests’ for horses, in which the animals usually have to pull heavy objects under lashes to demonstrate their strength.
No or insufficient supervision or sanctions by the responsible veterinarian.


7. Animal markets in Spain


Animal markets still play an important role, especially in northwestern Spain. First and foremost, cattle, but also horses, sheep and pigs are traded on the weekly markets. From there they are transported to various regions throughout Spain as well as partly to France and Portugal. So-called ‘Ferias’ – traditional animal markets that take place once a year – are available almost everywhere in Spain.


At least here, together with ANDA (Asociación Nacional para la Defensa de los Animales), we have achieved much for the animals on the markets:

We have made animal welfare on the markets in Spain
Improved infrastructures for the animals in all markets
Prohibition of certain animal tormenting measures
Increased and improved veterinary controls
Euthanasia of severely injured and sick animals in the markets
Animal welfare campaigns in the markets
We have established a good relationship with the market directors
For many traders and farmers, we have started a rethinking process

Nevertheless, there is still (too) much to do. We believe that the markets are phased out. They should be replaced by other trade routes to spare the animals additional stress. As long as they still exist, we use them for intensive controls and education and training campaigns.

8. Animal markets in Tanzania

tansania pg

In Africa, Tanzania is considered a showcase country when it comes to the protection of “Nutz’tieren. Rightly and wrongly, as we find. On the one hand, the country has progressive legislation and the government trains nationwide animal welfare inspectors. But the markets and vans are in chaos and suffering. Of the ambitions of the state government is hardly anything in the animals. Since 2014, we work locally and focus on training and training.


The strict animal welfare law does not apply to the animals in Tanzania. On markets, during transport and when the animals arrive at the slaughterhouse, we repeatedly document the same problems:

Brutal, chaotic loading and unloading.
Lack of care for injured animals.
Completely overloaded transport vehicles.
Animals tied together on the legs.
Exhausted and dehydrated animals.
Inadequate, ailing or missing infrastructure.
Inappropriate transport vehicles.
No water and food.
No shade.

Despite modern legislation and the regular control of markets and animal transports, the authorities have so far held nobody accountable for the lack of care and brutal treatment of the animals.


My comment:  In Germany, the animal welfare deficiencies at these events are inherent in the system – animal suffering is under the cover of animal love.

It is mainly reported on the animal markets from abroad.
But also on many weekends animal markets take place in Germany and there countless animals suffer from fear and stress – to the pure entertainment of visitors and hobby breeders.
In Bavaria alone, more than 700 animal markets take place each year. At the same time these animal markets are moving in a kind of  lawless space where they are rarely or only insufficiently controlled.

It is traded on countless exchanges with all living beings, which the “market” has to offer: Birds, reptiles, amphibians, horses, small mammals, but also dogs and cats are sold like “junk ware”.

The suffering of the animals does not count for dealers, breeders and many visitors.

“Animals are the pitiful slaves and victims of the most brutal part of humanity”. (John Stuart Mill)


My best regards to all, Venus


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