Today we visited the cattle market in Leeuwarden together with PMAF (French organization- Protection Mondiale des Animaux de Ferme). PMAF is hoping to make suggestions on good practices for market operators in France, and thus wanted to compare the situation with other countries and see what can be learned.
EonA was relieved to see that conditions at Leeuwarden are still quite good. The employee responsible for milking the cows with leaking udders was busy milking them when we arrived. The individual pens for bulls are each equipped with water nipples, allowing each one to drink undisturbed and at liberty. Of a very positive surprise was that adult cattle were given plenty of headroom on board the transport vehicles loading animals at the market. We did not observe any adult cattle being loaded on double deckers. This is a great improvement since our last visit in July 2010 when many did not have enough headroom.
There was one cow at the market that should not have been there- her hind legs were injured and she had difficulty walking. Fortunately the combi-team from the nVWA was present and spotted her. With the support of the market veterinarian, they agreed it was best to humanely kill her on the spot.