Animal Transports to Turkey: Week-Long Ordeal for Pregnant Heifers at Border - And on to Iraq

Animal Transport Turkey and to Iraq

Together with the Animal Welfare Foundation, Animals' Angels uncovers a particularly shocking animal transport: 41 pregnant heifers from Romania are stuck on the truck at the border crossing to Turkey for weeks! Because health certificates are missing, customs does not allow the transport to pass. In addition, there are financial disputes about the accommodation in a local stable. After almost a month at the border, the animals end up on the next truck - to Iraq.

The heifers' ordeal at the border in Kapikule begins on August 22. The Turkish authorities do not allow the animals to enter or be unloaded. The owner, in turn, is not allowed to transport them back to Romania. The buyer in Turkey has long since backed out because of all the problems. 

From now on, the animals have to stay on the truck for several weeks. They suffer from the heat. The supply is poor, the excrement knee-deep. In the middle of the truck, one of the heifers gives birth to her calf. But mother and child die a short time later in the heat. Another heifer dies under these terrible conditions. 

When we learn of the case, a team from AWF and Animals' Angels immediately goes to the scene to help. But the animals have already been reloaded. We are standing in front of an empty truck. On September 16, the surviving animals were loaded onto a truck with Turkish license plates. They were transported on to Iraq - an additional 2,000 kilometers in agonizing confinement, heat and thirst. There, the Romanian owner of the animals found a buyer. Turkey allows the animals to pass through.

We are left stunned. For more than a decade, we have been documenting and admonishing the torturous animal transports to Turkey together at the EU Commission. Many EU funds have flowed to improve the situation. But with which result? The cruelty to animals continues systematically, as it did 12 years ago. The authorities, veterinarians and transporters continue to ignore the law - and the animals suffer. 

It is high time to stop this trade for good and in the whole EU!