SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Saleyards

Farmed Animals

SPCA advocates for animals to travel directly from farm-to-farm or from farm-to-slaughterhouse rather than via saleyards.

Saleyards impose additional loading and unloading requirements, an unsuitable environment, and restricted access to feed and water. The use of saleyards to sell animals has negative impacts to animal welfare because of the additional handling, exposure to other animals, and unfamiliar environment.

While saleyards are used, SPCA advocates for a code of welfare to be developed to set minimum standards. Animals should have free access to water and must be provided with shade and shelter. Animals at a saleyard should be handled using low-stress, force-free methods. Unfamiliar animals should not be mixed. A veterinarian should be available.

(See ‘Handling of Farmed Animals’ for more information).

SPCA advocates that the farming industry could successfully operate, and with less animal welfare compromise and transmission of disease, if saleyards were no longer used. SPCA supports the use of modern technology, such as online sales, in order to avoid using physical saleyards for selling farmed animals.

SPCA opposes the sale of very young animals at markets/saleyards.

SPCA opposes the use of markets/saleyards for the sale of pre-weaned animals, including young calves, lambs and kids, as SPCA advocates that it is significantly more humane for the animals to travel directly from farm-to-farm or from farm to slaughterhouse.

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