Live animal transport is causing immense suffering for animals. Shocking tragedies continue to show us that this outdated system must change immediately. Between December 2020 and March 2021, for three gruesome months on the Mediterranean Sea, the lives of 2,500 young bulls found a bitter end at the port of Cartagena, Spain. Without any clarification of the case, Cartagena port started exporting animals shortly after the first round of killing. In only five weeks, officials say that another 40,000 lambs and 3,000 calves will leave Spanish shores across the Mediterranean to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Algeria.
And yet another crisis was following suit as a container ship blocking Suez Canal put the lives of thousands of animals in jeopardy.
We demand a ban on the export of live animals outside the EU, a ban on long-distance transports over eight hours and a ban on the transport of live animals on ships.
Within weeks, we saw the killing of 2,500 cattle and are still fearing for the lives of animals whose arrival at their destination port will be massively delayed due to the blockage of the Suez Canal. It is time to end this now!
Every year, over a billion animals are transported across the EU as well as to and from EU third countries. Under current rules, pigs can be transported for 24 hours without break and cattle for 29 hours including a one hour break. This cycle can be repeated as often as it takes until the animals arrive at their final destination, to the extent that they are on the move for several days or weeks.
FOUR PAWS demands a reform of the system on a European level.
The current Slowenian Presidency of EU Council and all EU member states should finally put an end to the cruel long-distance transports and have meat and genetic material transported instead of torturing live animals.
Inadequate transport often results in serious injuries and cruel deaths. Even pregnant cows are sold as breeding animals and transported for days over several thousand kilometres. Premature births occur repeatedly during transport. In many destination countries, animal welfare standards do not apply. The animals that survive the journey to hell are milked and after they gave birth to their calves a cruel death awaits them.
Immediate measures and a change in the law are necessary to protect the animals!
The lack of controls and penalties is a systematic violation of the already lax EU regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport. The few breaks and the stocking density of the vehicles are continuously disregarded.
FOUR PAWS calls for a revision of transport regulation and immediate action to adress the worst animal welfare issues. The European Parliament must also come out in favour of a strong motion for a resolution and demand substantial improvements for animal transports, as well as bans on particularly cruel transports.
Our demands concerning live animal transports:
- A ban on the long-distance transports of live animals to third countries The dissolution (termination) of all existing agreements on the export of live animals to third countries
- A limitation of the transport duration of live animals to a maximum of 8 hours (4 hours for poultry)
- A ban on transporting unweaned animals Slaughter of animals at the nearest appropriate slaughterhouse
- More unannounced checks and tougher sanctions for infringements
- A prohibition of transport if expected outside temperatures are below 5 or above 25 degrees Transport of meat instead of animals for slaughter
- Transport genetic material instead of breeding animals