Using a hidden video camera Advocates for Animals, on an intermittent basis, carried out an investigation into livestock auction markets.

Twelve markets were visited, eleven in Scotland and one in England.

It was found that they were places where the main legislation governing the treatment of animals at markets was being breached routinely and where grossly insensitive handling of calves, pigs, sheep, cattle and poultry appeared commonplace.

The investigation revealed 34 instances where it was believed there had been infringements of the regulations governing the treatment and welfare of animals at markets. Copies of the ‘Advocates’ report, together with the filmed evidence, were sent to the Minister of Agriculture, the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), the Scottish SPCA and the RSPCA.

The investigation sent shock waves through the farming community and received immense media attention prompting one farming newspaper to use as its heading, “Auction markets in cruelty bombshell”. It was also the subject of BBC television’s ‘Front Line Scotland’ programme.

Man hitting cow in cattle market  Worker kicking sheep in auction market

Auction market photos © OneKind.

Read more on Advocates for Animals investigation in these excerpts from the 1995 Annual Pictorial Review:

Download PDF