Today we were at the cattle market in Leeuwarden together with Jo-Anne Mc Arthur, a Canadian animal photographer and activist. It was a tough day. We were pleased to see several welfare improvements at the cattle market. More and more cattle are housed loosely in group-pens instead of tied on to railings, there is a big ventilator to improve air quality, animals have access to fresh water and a large loading platform with gentle slope has been built to prevent animals from slipping during loading and unloading. These improvements make a significant difference to animal welfare. But what remains a big problem is that farmers continue to transport cows that are clearly not fit for transport and the cattle market keeps accepting them. It is sad to see what these animals have to go through for a few extra cents. Today two cows had to be euthanized to prevent further suffering. Eyes on Animals would like to see that the cattle market takes stronger measures to prevent farmers and traders from attempting to bring cows in such poor condition to the market.
Further we are very disappointed that Eyes on Animals is no longer allowed to take photos at the market. Even Jo-Anne, who took a day off especially for this market, was not allowed to take photos. At the end she got permission to take one overview photo. We will soon discuss this topic with the cattle market board.