Animal Transport on Easter: Even the Most Simple Regulations are Ignored

Around the Easter holidays, Animals’ Angels inspects sheep and lamb transport. In this period, there is an intense flow of lambs transported for slaughter from Romania to Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Hungary and Italy.

So far, our team has inspected eight trucks. When the team approaches the trucks, animal children stare out through the bars: it is unjust to transport those innocent beings to death. To see that not even the basic standards of transport are complied with, is upsetting.

The law requires that the animals can rest on a clean and dry surface. Instead, most of them are forced to stand and lie on a wet layer of excrements covering the metal floor. Furthermore, all the animals have been loaded on four decks to maximise profits, with the consequence that the animals have barely any, or no room at all over their heads. They travel in uncomfortable conditions with their heads in constant contact to the ceiling and at risk to hit against it whilst driving over bumpy country roads.

According to the law, lambs of less than 26 kg deserve only up to 0,2m² of space. Apart from this absurdity, even when 0,2m²/per lambs are provided, we see that they are cramped, they have no room to turn around, to lie down all at the same time or to reach the drinking nipples. The number of drinking nipples are not proportioned to the number of animals on board the trucks.

It is common that the small legs of lambs get trapped in slits inside the trucks. When the drivers do not pay attention to this, it may happen that lambs travel with painfully trapped legs. In the case of lamb Shanas, the driver even refuses to free her trapped leg after we have informed him, stating that anyways she was transported to the slaughterhouse. This in presence of a police officer who finally allowed us to climb the truck and free her.

We will continue to document the transport conditions of the lambs some more days and will alert the competent authorities.