Serbia: We inspect animal transports leaving the EU via Hungary

Livestock transport pigs

An Animals' Angels team is at the border between Hungary and Serbia to check the export of live animals to Serbia. This is a new route for us and we don't know what to expect.

On the way, we discover that many piglets are being transported from Denmark to Serbia for fattening. Barely two months old, the young animals are transported over a distance of around 2,000 kilometres, crossing the European Union country by country. At the border, it takes several hours for them to leave EU territory. During the various checks (police, customs and veterinary), the animals remain on board the lorries parked in the sun. Although it is May, the daytime temperatures reach 30°C.

At the border we met the piglets János, Csák, Andras and their companions from Hungary. We keep them company at the Serbian border while the drivers wait for the necessary documents to continue their journey. They are all scratched and some have injuries on their ears. It is hot and the piglets are breathing quickly. Our thermometer reads 33.2°C in the compartments of the truck.

We immediately asked the driver to turn on the water (which he should have done by now) and the ventilation. We were very surprised - as was the driver - that the animals didn't know how to use the drinking troughs. Pigs are usually used to this type of equipment on farms. We show them how they work and climb up the truck to each floor to try out the drinkers one by one and show them to the animals. Some show no interest, while others drink the water as it flows. We accompany them to their destination and watch as they are unloaded. They will now be kept on the site for about thirty days before being taken to the slaughterhouse.

We are concerned about these transports and the conditions in which the animals end up outside the EU's borders. We will be contacting the relevant authorities to get more information and open a dialogue on behalf of the animals.