Spain: Inspection of Torrelavega Animal Market

Animals’ Angels visits the animal market in Torrelavega, Spain, called Jesus Colado Soto. We come back after almost 4 years to check whether animal handling has had any positive changes.

Fortunately, the market has not only improved most of its facilities, but also has a motivated staff taking care of the welfare of the calves, cows, bulls, as well as make sure that the trucks are properly disinfected and fitted with sufficient bedding material.

Nevertheless, we also observe some animals suffering unnecessarily: cows tethered too short to lie down and not provided with bedding; calves stuck in overcrowded groups, unable to move, lie down or access water; and unweaned calves not supplied with adequate liquids for more than 24 hours.

Additionally, the few occurring cases of animal maltreatment like tail twisting or excessive hitting are quickly managed by the market’s staff. In case of the ‘dairy’ cows, we are disappointed to see that most of the owners are blocking the teats with clips, tapes and creams. In many cases, milk is already dripping from their udders.

The practice of blocking the teats – thus not milking them for more than 12 hours – is forbidden, as it causes lot of pain. But sadly the traditions and economic interest seems to be more important to the sellers. Although the market staff does their best to create a good environment for the animals, they should increase the enforcement of the current norms at the market so the farmers start to adopt them properly and progressively.

Animals’ Angels will continue to inspect animal markets in Spain to expose the reality for the animals during trade and will keep pressuring the competent authorities to take the necessary measures to secure the welfare of the animals.