Spain: Inspection of Santiago de Compostela Cattle Market

Animals‘ Angels inspects the animal market in Santiago de Compostela. Our last visit was in 2011. Many worn-out ‘milk’ cows are sold here and always was their health condition a problem at the market. But thanks to the commitment of the market’s former director, trainings, educational work and stricter veterinary inspections, there had been many improvements.

In the meantime, the market direction and the veterinarians have been exchanged. When we enter the market this time, it is like in a horror movie: Vivaldis ‘Four Seasons’ roars through the huge market hall while all around us are mooing cows, one looking more miserable than the other.

The new market director is visibly nervous and doesn’t know what to say. The official veterinarians state that during their inspections they haven’t seen any animals being unfit for transport. When we ask them to jointly check on the cows, they just refer us to the public relations department.

We note as many ear tags as possible and try to document the animals’ health condition. Then we concentrate on Maite, a black pied cow, who cannot stop shaking while only being able to stand on three legs. In the afternoon, she is brought to the slaughterhouse. We accompany her. The veterinary examination reveals severe lameness, fever and lung inflammation.

The slaughterhouse veterinarians promised us to initiate sanctions and to involve the market veterinarians. By all available means, ANDA and Animals’ Angels will take steps against this market.