Horse Market in Léon: Better Veterinary Inspections – but Food and Water Supply is Still Problematic

Horses at Léon Market in Spain

For many years, Anda and Animals' Angels have been monitoring the horse markets in León in northwest Spain. Over the years, the number of horses, donkeys and mules sold on the market has declined sharply. At the same time, veterinary controls have become more intensive and strict. In the past, it was necessary to persuade an official veterinarian to check unloading. Today, three official veterinarians constantly monitor the arrival of the animals.

A problem on the market is the supply with water. The operator leaves it to the owners and traders whether they water and feed their animals. And so only a few animals are lucky - most of them don't get any water or food. Although they have to wait many hours at the market and have a further transport from the market ahead of them.

Many horses and especially the foals destined for slaughter are exhausted. They stand in the midst of noise and hectic rush with hanging heads and half-closed eyes on the hard concrete floor. The dun Liam is tied up at the entrance area and sleeps deeply, despite the many people and animals around him. Miguel the Grey Horse has a swollen eye and looks apathetic. He hardly reacts to what is happening around him.

Markets are always an enormous stress for the animals and therefore we hope that one day they will all disappear. Until then, animal markets will remain an important part of our work.