Ignoring legally binding animal welfare standards, Romania is exporting 70,000 sheep to the Persian Gulf
Romanian authorities have flouted Commissioner Andriukaitis’ call on Thursday to the Romanian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to stop the transport to Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE. In his plea, the Commissioner stressed the impossibility of complying with EU animal welfare legal provisions under the extreme temperatures on the route.
Sources at the Romanian port of Midia say that they are being prevented from approaching the vessel – the Al Shuwaikh, owned by the Kuwaiti company Livestock Transport & Trading (KLTT) – but that they can “hear the animals loud and clear”.
In 2018 animals on KLTT vessels were found baking in their own skins, gasping for air, smothered in faeces and unable to lie down to rest or even reach food or water. During such voyages, heat and humidity combinations reach levels that cause heat stroke, resulting in sheep literally cooking alive in the holds of vessels.
“Despite the intervention of Commissioner Andriukaitis, Petre Daea has turned a deaf ear to the fact that this shipment is likely to breach Art 3 of the EU Regulation (EC) 1/2005 stating that animals shall not be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering,” says Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals. “According to EU legislation on transport, if animal welfare cannot be guaranteed until the final destination, transportation should not take place. We need infringement proceedings right now.”
If they reach their destination alive, the animals will be slaughtered without stunning for the “Festival of Sacrifice” which takes place in August.
Francesca Porta, Farm Animals Programme Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 740 08 28