03/14/17 Horror Before Slaughter: Exhausted, Sick and Covered in Excrement
European Commission alarmed by the explicit footage depicting cruelty in live animal transport
- Brussels: European Parliament to investigate a breach of regulations in live animal transport
Last week in Brussels, at a conference for MEPs and Member States and EC officials, Animals International (AI), Tierschutzbund Zurich/Animal Welfare Foundation (TSB|AWF), and Eurogroup for Animals released shocking footage of horrific mishandling of animals in international transport. The footage clearly shows breaches of European animal welfare legislation and international agreements concerning live animal export within the EU and into the Middle East and northern Africa.
The footage reveals the brutal reality of animal transport: animals suffer from hunger and thirst in overcrowded trucks, arrive at harbors completely exhausted, where handlers abuse electric prods to get them onboard ships. In unhygienic conditions, animals succumb to illness and infections and die in pain. Those who do survive reach their destination exhausted, starved, and completely covered in their own excrement.
The investigation went on for two years and ended in February 2017. The organizations point out that such methods are standard in the transport of cattle, pigs, sheep, and other animals for human consumption. They called on the European Commission to completely ban the transport of live animals.
The European Parliament has committed to take action and investigate breaches of animal welfare and European agreements concerning live animal transport. Jeppe Kofod, vice-president of the European Parliament Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, supported the call to ban live animal transport and promised that he "will make sure this official inquiry will deliver clear recommendations on what’s needed to do so."
Antonija Magas of Animal Friends Croatia warns that the footage, which AFC shared with the public as a member of Eurogroup for Animals, is explicit and depicts unimaginable cruelty. She said: "It is difficult to accept that animal transport is a reality for these animals; for them, it means inconceivable suffering and ends under a butcher’s knife. Each of us is in a position to stop the trucks and ships today – by changing our eating habits and switching to plant-based food."
As part of the #StopTheTrucks campaign, Eurogroup for Animals started a petition against live animal transport, which has already been signed by over 3,000 people in Croatia.