top of page

Investigation Reveals Extreme Animal Cruelty in Auction Markets in Argentina and Chile

Sinergia Animal and We Animals Media reveal alarming images from three livestock auction markets in Argentina and Chile dedicated to selling live animals. They denounce non-compliance with national and international animal welfare regulations, unsanitary conditions, and diseases.


[Video available here | Footage and pictures in high resolution available here]

Buenos Aires - Santiago, February 27, 2024. - International organizations Sinergia Animal and We Animals Media have launched an investigation into the Cañuelas Market in Argentina and the Fegosa and Tattersall fairs in Chile, dedicated to the auction of farm animals. Weak and injured animals suffering from overcrowding, blows, and a lack of veterinary attention are part of the complaints the investigative team documented between 2022 and 2023.

"These fairs are scenes of abuse towards thousands of cows, pigs, sheep, and even horses sold as objects to the highest bidder. We documented animals exposed to deplorable conditions and aggression. A shocking display of atrocities committed daily without proper control", says Carolina Galvani, executive director of Sinergia Animal.

The timeline of terror

In the early morning, thousands of animals arrive in overloaded trucks after an extensive and stressful journey. Their ordeal is just beginning. In both Chile and Argentina, workers distribute them in metal or wooden pens: the video shows employees kicking animals, hitting them, and poking them with sticks. A cow is forced to stand up by twisting its tail, while a sheep is dragged on the ground.

"These acts of mistreatment are included in the main animal welfare statutes as actions to avoid, as they correspond to improper handling in livestock farms. Ironically, a sign with guidelines on cruel practices can be seen in one of the offices. At the same time, in broad daylight, they violate regulations issued by SENASA in Argentina and the Ministry of Agriculture in Chile through SAG; for this reason, we sent a letter to both institutions requesting a public response to these irregularities" says Galvani.

Amidst the clamor of bells and sales negotiations, animals wait for hours on piles of excrement, reflecting constant unsanitary conditions. The recordings show old or too weak animals to walk and stand, as well as clear signs of disease, injuries, and infections without the corresponding veterinary attention.

A tradition of brutality

According to sources working in the markets, between 10,000 and 14,000 cattle are received daily in the Argentine agro-livestock market, meaning 35,000 and 40,000 animals are auctioned weekly. In Chile, fairgrounds market around 10,000 animals per week. These fairs are regularly held in rural central and southern regions.

"It is devastating to know that thousands of animals experience this level of suffering and neglect every week", says Galvani. "What we have discovered in these auctions is unacceptable. We call on the community and competent government agencies: it is urgent to stop this systematic and massive violation of animal protection" she concludes.

The investigative team was informed through a confidential source that approximately 90% of the animals sold in these auctions are sent directly to local slaughterhouses. At the same time, the remaining number is destined for another stage of the production cycle—such as fattening—to be slaughtered later.

With this and future investigations, Sinergia Animal seeks to transform the Latin American food industry, promoting more ethical practices and raising consumer awareness about the implications of animal exploitation.


About Sinergia Animal

Sinergia Animal is an international animal protection organization that works in the Global South to reduce the suffering of animals raised for food and promote more compassionate food options. It is recognized as one of the most effective NGOs in the world by the Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE).


[Photos: Molly Condit / Sinergia Animal / We Animals Media]


bottom of page