Skin injuries were assessed in 560 imported and local cattle and water buffaloes at two livestock markets in Bangladesh. The body of each animal was divided into 11 anatomical regions, and abrasions, lacerations, penetrations, ulcerations, bleeding, swelling, hyperkeratosis and scars were recorded for each region. Among the 560 animals studied, 501 were found to have at least one injury. The prevalence of skin injuries was 89 per cent, with 84 per cent of the cattle and 99 per cent of the water buffaloes having obvious skin injuries. The most common types of injury were abrasions that were found in 73 per cent of the animals, followed by scars (50 per cent), and lacerations (41 per cent). Buffaloes had more abrasions (95 per cent), lacerations (57 per cent), swelling (15 per cent) and hyperkeratosis (32 per cent) compared with cattle, whereas scars (60 per cent) were more common in cattle (P<0.001). Within the 11 different anatomical regions, all types of injuries were present but in different proportions. The buttock region had a higher proportion of abrasions (36 per cent) followed by the hip, hindlimb and back regions. Penetration, ulceration, bleeding and swelling were present at lower frequencies in all regions. Causes for these injuries included rubbing against the inside wall of vehicles used for transportation and stock-handler abuse (59 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively). Buffaloes sustained more transport injuries than cattle, and the number of injuries was higher in imported than local animals.