20.10.2011 Day 4 - Inspection of EU animal trucks and lobby work at the Bulgarian/Turkish border
Today the teams are very busy checking on the many trucks coming from all over Europe into Turkey. We are shocked to find trucks with very young calves on board, and bulls from Estonia! The calves are crying out; such young animals still dependant on milk for nutrition are too fragile to be transported such long distances and over a border where, if blocked, there is no possibility to properly feed them. The Estonian bulls are filthy and have running noses (possible shipping fever?).
At night we type up our reports which will be sent to the EU, FVO, and all pertinent Member State authorities.
All farmed animals are transported at least once in their lifetime. Journeys can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks. Transport is known to be one of the most stressful experiences for animals. They are moved from a familiar territory to a new one and are held often under very crowded conditions. They get separated from each other and mixed with unfamiliar animals, which can lead to stress and fighting. Sometimes there is no water and feed available or the animals cannot reach it. Animals that wish to lie down during the journey are at risk of being trampled by the others. Sometimes conditions on board are very cold or very hot, leading to animals dying from hypothermia and suffocation. There are laws in place to prevent these types of problems, but there is very little official inspection during the journey to check if these laws are respected. Eyes on Animals regularly trails and checks livestock transport consignments to see if the welfare of the animals is respected during transit.