Today the team from EonA/AWF checked on the livestock market in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria. Equines, bovines, ovine, caprines and birds are brought to the market to be sold. The transport of the animals is mainly done in cars, vans and some small lorries that are absolutely not suitable for transporting animals correctly. Our team observed the transport and unloading of two (very skinny) horses from a small van. The market has enclosures for the animals however we have not seen any water or food being offered to the animals. The most illegal part of the market takes place just in front of the market where the animals are again sold from the car. Mainly sheep. The sheep sold outside the market are tied by the three legs and laid in the trunk of the car. Our team will send their report about necessary improvements to the local, national and EU authorities about this market. We hope, wth the help of the Bulgarian officials and police, we can make a difference to the animals here in the future.
Farm animals are often sold and bought at livestock markets, or collected at stations where larger trucks come to pick them up later to transport them further. These places can be very stressful for animals, and are also unfortunately a great place for diseases to spread. Animals are brought in from many different places, unloaded from the truck, often weighed one at a time, and then rushed towards different pens where they are forced to wait for hours, sometimes without water, feed or bedding. Animals that were raised together, and even mothers and their offspring, can be separated. The animals are then reloaded onto new trucks with unfamiliar animals, which can cause fighting, and head to a new destination. Eyes on Animals regularly conducts unannounced visits of livestock markets and collecting stations in the Netherlands and Belgium. We check on conditions of the unloading equipment and pens and make sure that unfit animals are given a quiet area to rest, or if serious, immediately euthanized. We are in dialogue with the managers about providing water and bedding for the animals, milking females in lactation, and reducing any rough handling or other unnecessary causes of animal suffering.