Last Saturday Animals’ Angels was present at the animal market in Calarasi, Romania, to see if the sacrifice of pigs (Christmas tradition in the country) continues to take place.
We were glad to find that on every market day a vet is at the market to check the conditions of the animals and is helped by policemen to make sure people comply with the rules. Signs were installed warning that it is forbidden to sacrifice pigs all over the market, and also to avoid violent handling. Compared to the previous two years, when Animals´ Angels investigated into this market, this indicates a great step forward considering that pigs were slaughtered in front of the Police not reacting, considering it just a normal tradition.
In Calarasi, sellers and buyers are small farmers and old practices are present. The handling of the pigs is really rough, for example piglets are still grabbed at their legs being held upside down, causing them a lot of fear and distress as they scream loudly. Heavier pigs are dragged by their ears and tail or restrained by muzzling their upper jaws with a metal wire that causes an intense pain to them and tying their legs two by two. Pigs are loaded in car trunks or in old carriages dragged by horses packed with others pigs. Sadly, even though the local authorities committed to stop the slaughtering at the market and that people comply with minimum protection principles, we found out that some pigs were slaughtered few hundred meters outside of the market, taking advantage of the fact that the police and the vet were controlling what was happening inside the premise.
In the memory of these pigs, and all the others that had a horrible death on Saturday in the yards of the private houses, we lighted a candle. This light is also a symbol of hope that in the future this obsolete and barbaric practice will stop.
Animals’ Angels will continue to be present at the markets in Romania, working with the local authorities to at least reduce the suffering of the animals and bring attention to ‘farm’ animals as sentient beings.