Cattle Market in Spain: Every Second worn-out 'Dairy' cow Shows Anomalies and Clear Signs of Pain

Animals' Angels visits the animal market in Pola de Siero in Spain. Due to the pandemic situation, access to the animal markets is currently severely restricted in some places – even for farmers. But we get a special permit and can finally be here with the animals again.

At the market in Pola de Siero on Mondays almost exclusively cattle are offered for slaughter. Most of the animals here – cattle of regional breeds bred for meat production – are in good condition. But things look very different with the worn-out 'dairy' cows: A good half of them show abnormalities and clear signs of pain. They stand with their backs hunched, lurch from one foot to the other, relieve one or more legs, have trouble standing up, have swellings on their joints, or have thickly swollen red udders that indicate mastitis.

Together with ANDA, we are campaigning to ban the sale of so-called worn-out 'dairy' cows through markets in the EU. These animals are often far too weak and sick due to the continuous pregnancy and high performance breeding they are subjected to. If at all, those 'dairy' cows should only be allowed to be taken directly to the nearest slaughterhouse.

As soon as we arrive at the market, the director shows us some improvements that have been introduced: Most of the animals are on straw, and the floor has been made more slip-resistant. The operator has also started to raise the pens so the calves can't jump over the railings. Overall, the market makes a well-controlled impression. However, we continue to criticize the fact that the animals do not have access to water. Except for a few pens that house animals that stay overnight, there are no automatic waterers. Therefore, we again urge the operator to improve this situation.