For the management of the Ballarat saleyard, or any yard for that matter, to claim that it is not concerned that the largest animal rights group in the world may visit the Ballarat facility is a little naive and ignorant.
As PETA said it does not announce when it may turn up at such places nor should it have to, and it's unlikely that saleyards would even know if PETA was even at a saleyard watching what is going on.
PETA is known for its ruthless undercover work and, because of this, it has exposed animal abuse all around the world, including animal abuse on Australian soil. It appears that PETA doesn't hide the fact that it believes the Australian sheep industry has contempt for sheep, and it's clearly not afraid to voice its concerns worldwide.
If PETA representatives are visiting saleyards across the country then yards that still mistreat animals should start lifting their game. The management of a saleyard has overall responsibility for the welfare of animals consigned to a yard, however let's not forget that farmers, livestock transporters, stock agents and buyers are also responsible for ensuring that animals are treated humanely.
I would imagine that most activists who visit saleyards in Australia, including the Ballarat yard are in fact members of PETA and most likely inform PETA when acts of animal abuse are observed at yards. I find it very disturbing that activists feel the need to attend saleyards to ensure those who operate at them are doing so humanely. Surely the regulator should be doing this.
Several saleyards in Victoria have been scrutinised for their treatment of animals. Only last year the Herald Sun printed a very damaging article outlining how animals, in particular sheep, are treated at certain yards. The footage shown shocked the country and was circulated worldwide.
Saleyards must be aware that now more than ever, they are being watched, and not just by activists who choose to be very upfront in relation to how they operate but by activists who will go to great lengths to expose those who mistreat and exploit animals at saleyards.