With curious and tired eyes they look at us - the horses Alka, Bozydar, Irek and the 16 others standing together with them on the animal transport. We meet them in the north of Italy, near the border with Slovenia. A team of Animals' Angels is on the road in Italy to accompany animal transports during the heat wave. We find the horse transport in the late afternoon. After all, it is leaving for the hot south during the cooler night. But on the way we still measure 30 °C at midnight.
Alka, Bozydar and the others come from Poland. They were bred for their meat. Still young, they are now transported to Italy to be killed here. We accompany them at least on part of their long last journey. All night long we drive from north to south through the whole of Italy. And we can't stop thinking what a madness this is: These horses are transported over 2,000 km through half of Europe - only to be killed at the end.
An endless strain for the horses. They are also not used to being transported. Their long legs and the centrifugal forces make the many movements additionally strenuous, since their center of gravity is rather high. They cannot lie down or rest during the entire journey - the narrow individual stalls do not allow this.
When we arrive at our destination on Sunday morning, we can see the horses once again. Despite the exhaustion and excitement, they still like to hold their heads out for a few last strokes. Their looks are deeply etched in our memory - and remind us again for whom we are doing this work: for Irek, Kalina, and all the others.