The plight of animals transported over thousands of kilometers

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20160625_TR_CP_23_BG-PB0844EB_Pimk (4) Who has not crossed over the highway trucks carrying calves or pigs, crammed against each other on two or three floors, in more precarious conditions ? Alongside the campaign against slaughterhouses conducted by L214, another NGO of defense of animal welfare, the Columbia Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) continues his struggle to expose a different aspect of child abuse animal, less publicized but equally crucial: the transport of live animals over long distances. Monday 26 September, has released a new video revealing the sordid conditions conveyed cattle from different European countries (France, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, etc) to Turkey, to be fattened and then slaughtered.

This survey was conducted between 23 and 29 June by the German associations, the Netherlands and Switzerland Animal Welfare Foundation Eyes on Animals and Tierschutzbund Zürich who inspected 109 trucks carrying nearly 6,000 yearlings (young males weaned calves feeding on breast milk and grass) and pregnant cows. Unlike previous videos, which were filming transport animals to Turkey or endless travel calves across Europe the investigators asked them this time camera at Kapikule, on the Bulgarian-Turkish border.

Eating excrement

After several thousand kilometers, cattle, from all over Europe, there are stranded dozens of hours – up to ten days – not allowed out of the trucks. Temperatures can reach 38 ° C and watering systems are often not appropriate or soiled. Dehydrated animals desperately licking the bars. Other collapse. Without food, the animals go to feed their droppings. Sick or injured animals are abandoned in the middle of their peers.

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During the survey week, five pregnant females give birth to their small trucks in. One of them underwent a caesarean in the street. The employees try to put it back in the truck, without having sewn up, before shooting him in the street, fully conscious. The animals then go to fattening centers or continue their journey to the Middle East.

“These are terrible images, which show animals in great suffering, with infrastructure and totally inadequate control. And all in violation of French and European regulations denounces Leopoldina Charbonneaux, Director of CIWF France. Yet neither the European Commission nor the Member States involved. “

Fourteen hours of transport

A 2005 EU regulation on the protection of animals during transport indeed poses the principle that “no carries or does not carry animals under conditions that they risk injury or unnecessary suffering “. In particular, states that for weaned calves, travel time should not exceed fourteen hours, renewable, with a one hour break “in particular to be given liquid and, if necessary, fed. “

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“Because the minimum rules for animal welfare are not met, we ask stopping long distance transport outside the European Union, and a limit to 8 hours in the EU says the association which offers users to write to the Minister of agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, to encourage them to stop exports to Turkey . should restructure the French industry to fatten cattle with us to export meat rather than live animals. “

80,000 French cattle exported to Turkey in 2015

If the investigators have inspected only one truck French – Italian and a French truck carrying cattle – not the Hexagon remains the third largest exporter of live animals in the EU and the first outside the EU, mainly to Turkey with 80 000 head in 2015, according to Eurostat figures . These volumes have collapsed this year, however, due to cases of bluetongue in cattle, which led Ankara to revise down its imports.

“It is true that we have contacts with Turkey, which seeks to establish a herd, but we export a lot more cattle to Italy, with 498 000 calves weaned in the first seven months of year 2015 “says one side of the Directorate General for Food (DGAL), which states that the bulk of french transport is by boat – without that we know if animals are treated better. “For the land, taken from the end of 2014, our agents have instructions not to sign log books they do not consider it credible, but the road is long: there can always be a time offenses they crossed the border “ recognizes EB.

CIWF, who regrets of “controls too few and lax” is pleased however of “early awareness” August 29 was held the first world day of action against the transport of live animals, with the slogan: “animals, not commodities! “

Audrey Garric

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