Today Eyes on Animals joined Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals to visit Sainte Hyacinthe market. In 2003 and 2004, Lesley from Eyes on Animals was working for Animals’ Angels in Canada and discovered very rough handling of the animals at this market, including downers being dragged, piglets being grabbed by their legs and thrown over gates and many piles of dead and almost-dead animals behind the market (see old photos).
After all the pressure and media attention Animals Angels made back then, we were told by the Quebec government inspectors and the market director himself that the market would be improved.
Today we wanted to check on the welfare of the animals now being put through this market. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the cattle and sheep were not moved using force or aggression. There was a thick layer of bedding on the floors of the pens, auction ring and corridors, making them non-slip. The men were not yelling or chasing the animals. In general it was calm. We will return on Wednesday to check again, in order to be sure that our first impression is correct.