21.01.2012 | Bulgaria | Svilengrad

Animals’ Angels visits the “inspection station” in Svilengrad near the Bulgarian-Turkish border. The stable is supposed to allow animals in transit to Turkey to be unloaded so that they can be fed and watered and can rest. Secondly, this stable is necessary for unloading the animals if violations of the animal protection regulations are found during veterinary inspections prior to leaving the EU. In this case the transport should not be permitted to leave the EU until the unlawful condition is corrected. But all of that is only theoretical. The Svilengrad inspection station is indeed identified as a certified inspection station on the EU Commission’s official list – but in reality the stable was not yet put into operation and the local veterinary authority has been waiting on approval for operations from the ministry in Sofia for over a year. Furthermore, there are no funds available to operate the inspection station. However, at the same time animal transports cross the Bulgarian-Turkish border on a daily basis and most of them do not comply with the law and should therefore be unloaded at the border. The Bulgarian veterinarians on site have their hands tied and the EU Commission is content with an inspection station existing purely on paper. Only the animal welfare organizations seem to be interested in the reality of the matter. As a next step Animals’ Angels will request a meeting with the Bulgarian ministry in Sofia.