Animals International (AI), Tierschutzbund Zurich/Animal Welfare Foundation (TSB|AWF) and Eurogroup for Animals released shocking footage showing breaches of European animal welfare legislation and international agreements concerning live animal transport from Europe to Turkey, the Middle East and northern Africa, as well as their slaughter.
AI and TSB|AWF have conducted a landmark eight-month investigation from June 2016 to February 2017 documenting the horrific mishandling and slaughter of European livestock, including cattle and sheep, across their European journey to their final destination in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt. The footage shows transport and slaughter methods that are routine for such importing countries, and that breach European regulations and international standards.
The investigation prompted AI and TSB|AWF to join forces with Eurogroup for Animals and its members from all over Europe to call on the European Commission to phase-out live animal exports, and actively encourage a transition to a carcass-only trade with importing countries.
Footage documented by AI in importing countries reveals:
- Terrified, fully conscious European bulls being hoisted to the ceiling by one rear leg before having their throats cut in Turkish slaughterhouses;
- EU cattle being tortured with electric prods before being hoisted and slaughtered in Lebanon;
- Petrified EU bulls being brutally restrained with ropes before having their throats hacked whilst fully conscious in the Palestinian territories; and
- The extended suffering of European animals in full inversion slaughter boxes in Turkey, Palestine and Egypt.
- In addition, the brutal handling and slaughter of sheep was documented in the Palestinian territories and Jordan.
Evidence gathered during transport by TSB|AWF and AI includes:
- Tired animals arriving at EU harbors with workers routinely and hastily forcing animals to move up ramps using electric prods;
- Hungry young calves calling for their mothers as they are prevented from being weaned;
- Exhausted and almost unrecognizable cattle being unloaded in Turkey, completely covered with excrement.
Eurogroup for Animals Director, Reineke Hameleers, stated “The European Court of Justice has ruled that the EU’s Transport Regulation also applies outside EU borders, until animals reach their final destinations. Yet this ruling is not being abided to and animals continue to be exported in horrible conditions.” In addition she said, “Not only is this illegal, it is also immoral and unnecessary as all of the cited destination countries also import lots of chilled and frozen meat. There is absolutely no excuse for putting animals through unnecessary suffering by exporting them alive.”
This evidence will be provided to the European Commission and to EU Ministers and will include proof of the mishandling and inhumane slaughter of European animals being exported from Ireland, France, Romania, Lithuania, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain to third countries. “Ethical and regulatory failures on animal trade start well before animals even arrive in the importing countries. Currently there is no requirement to have a vet onboard livestock vessels leaving the EU, thus thousands of animals are without access to veterinary care for up to 10 days in a high risk environment,” said TSB|AWF Director, Iris Baumgärtner. She added, “All you need to think about is thousands of animals imprisoned on a ship – not conceived for animal transport – tossed around in wild seas, to understand just how wrong this trade is.”
- Develop an EU strategy with effective incentives to phase out all live animal transports and replace them with carcasses and meat products.
- Until regulations change, take all necessary steps to reduce transportation time of live animals being exported to destination countries outside the EU in accordance the binding judgment from the European Court of Justice, and the standards set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) regarding animal slaughter conditions
- Address what 90% of EU citizens are demanding (Eurobarometer survey) and establish animal welfare standards that are recognizable across the world and promote the standards internationally.
- Ensure implementation and enforcement of EU Transport Regulation (EC)1/2005, in relation to both road and sea transport.
- Ensure a government veterinarian accompanies all livestock shipments by sea.
- Introduce a regulatory system (as is in operation in the Australian live export industry) that makes European exporters legally accountable for ensuring supply chains they provide animals to in importing countries meet international standards. This system should enable the movement of livestock to be monitored to ensure that the animals can be traced from their point of departure to slaughter.
- Require mandatory reporting of illness/injuries and deaths on ships and the public disclosure of this information.
These new revelations should be seen in the context of Eurogroup for Animals’ #Stopthetrucks campaign where more than 700,000 european citizens have already expressed their expectation for Europe reduce, refine and replace the transport of live animals.
Eurogroup for Animals, Animals International (AI) and Tierschutzbund Zurich|Animal Welfare Foundation (TSB|AWF), will be holding an important event Monday 6 March from 13h-15h that will present their EU-wide investigation into the
– PHOTOS OF THE EVENT ON MONDAY 6 MARCH:
All the photos here
– DOWNLOAD FULL PRESS BRIEFING:
Press Release Live animal transport investigations PDF
Press Full Story Line Live Exports Investigations
– MEDIA CONTACT:
Gabriel Paun, Animals International, EU Director
Tel. +43 (0)664 1850717 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Iris Baumgärtner Animal Welfare Foundation | Tierschutzbund Project Manager
Tel. +41 (0)44 482 04 91, email@example.com
Francesca Porta, Eurogroup for Animals Program Officer Farm animals
Tel. +32 (0) 2 740 08 2828 / firstname.lastname@example.org