The EU And Its MEP’s Need To Step Up To The Plate And Actually Defend Animals; Not Give Us EU ‘Yukspeak’ And False Promises !


calf export Dover_NEW

One of my pictures of calves being exported from the UK in the past.  Note lower rear animals sucking the trailer bars; the need for milk ! – is this not what we hear from the CIWF investigations team today in Israel and Gaza ? – please click on the photo to be able to enlarge and see more detail.

calf crate_NEW

Fortunately no longer the process, but the old method – a (UK ?) calf restrained in a Dutch veal crate.


.. and then the Eurogroup realise the bloody obvious that welfare campaigners have been telling them about for the last 20 years –

Their statement says:

Strasbourg – At today’s meeting of the Intergroup on the Conservation and Welfare of Animals, Members of the European Parliament heard about the consistent failure of member states to enforce Regulation EC 1/2005 which causes millions of animals every year to suffer unnecessarily during transport. This is compounded further with the export of live animals to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

Intergroup President, Janusz Wojciechowski MEP who chaired the meeting suggested: “Despite legislation governing live animal transport being in place for ten years we are still seeing animals undertaking extremely long journeys without any respect for their welfare and the Commission has a duty to pursue Member States that continually flout this legislation and cause immense suffering as a consequence.”

The invited speakers spoke about the failure to enforce regulation EC 1/2005 and the consequences this has for animal welfare. They also raised the issue that animal suffering is being exported to third countries especially at the time of slaughter and this is totally unacceptable.

Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor at Compassion in World Farming stated that; “The EU exports two million cattle and sheep a year to the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.  These animals experience great suffering at slaughter in this region.  Not only is the slaughter cruel but it is in breach of the international standards on welfare at slaughter of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

He added: “We have informed the Commission and the exporting Member States of this problem but they refuse to halt the trade or to take effective steps to ensure that EU animals are slaughtered in accordance with the OIE standards.  This trade is in breach of Article 13 of TFEU which requires the EU to ‘pay full regard’ to animal welfare.  Compassion in World Farming calls on the EU to urgently halt this trade.”

 Dr Alexander Rabitsch presenting the findings of his latest report stated: “The European Commission is turning a blind eye to the issue of live animal transport. It is essential that the Commission acts today to ensure that the serious shortcomings witnessed on a daily basis across the EU are addressed immediately and that Member States are brought to task to ensure the highest levels of animal welfare are respected at all times on all transports.”


Our Action

Today; 31st August 2015, I have written to all of my EU Members of Parliament for my region – the South East of England.

My letter mainly involves the very recent expose by Compassion In World Farming (CIWF); also based here in England –  and the issue of very young calves being exported for slaughter from locations such as Lithuania and Romania (in the EU) to Israel and Gaza (non EU).

We promoted this CIWF investigation very recently – see for further details.

Journeys of over 2,600 miles; with the guarantee that they will end in a terrible death for these very young and innocent, sentient animals.

Basically, the EU; complete with its so called ‘regulations’ and its so called ‘politicians’ make me just want to vomit.  I and many others; including Philip, the CEO at CIWF, have personally been involved with live calf export investigations and campaigning for around 25 years.  See more at    We have witnessed British calves being exported live to the Netherlands by a British Conservative government (like we have now under David Cameron) for incarceration into a veal crate system; while they have had the audacity to tell the UK public that they have banned the veal crate in the UK !.   What is their way of dealing with the issue ? –export British calves to other countries to be shut in a box until their deaths ! – this is what makes me sick with politicians and their yukspeak, Party led spin to assure us all that we can sleep safe at night.

In the past, I have witnessed tens of thousands of UK calves heading for crates of the Netherlands; I have followed them on the roads; I have produced a series of reports about it all for the EU, I have photographed them (see picture here), I have smelt them; and most upsettingly, I have heard them crammed onto the trucks; their only wish to be fed fresh milk from their mothers who they were wrenched away from days before; never to see again.

As I say, it makes me want to puke now just as much as it did when I first encountered it 25+ years ago.

So this letter to my MEP’s does not praise them; quite the opposite.  It is people such as this who are failing the good, caring citizens of the EU who want change for animal welfare to be better; and most importantly, they are failing the animals of Europe who remain silent but want them to be their voice.

I don’t really know what else to say apart from the fact that the EU and all its cronies; including its many MEP’s; are in reality doing nothing to improve animal welfare.  They speak the EU speak, have committees for this and that; an EU animal welfare Intergroup / Eurogroup; and still we see very young (EU) calves being shipped from Lithuania to Israel and Gaza for terrifying deaths.  If animals have to be slaughtered; then it should take place as near to their point of origin as possible; greatly reducing their stresses during long transport and the terrible deaths they experience in nations such as Turkey and Gaza.  You export locally killed meat on the hook; NOT on the hoof !

I can understand it; campaigners can understand it; I think you can understand it;  so why not the self important’s of the EU ? – this is where the EU fails its citizens.  It lives in a rose colored bubble of everything is ok; there are guarantees, regulations and assurances that things are always dealt with correctly; so hey; what are we griping about ?.  Wrong Mr and Mrs MEP – you are failing the people and animals of Europe.  Calves being exported and your false promises of alleged EU enforcement and EU regulations for animals undergoing long distance transport are something I have had to endure from the EU for the last 25 years.  Today the animals are no better off than they were then thanks to the EU.

I am sick to death of these people and their ‘yukspeak’ of legislation and rules – some kind of EU ‘fairyland’ where politicians think they can bullshit citizens off with their false verbals of ‘high standards’, monitored’ and spared unnecessary suffering’, to name but a few !.  They are failing the calves and other animals of Europe.  Please write to them and show them your disgust for their blemished approach to sentient beings.  Lots more details of how to write to your MEP(s) can be found in the ‘European Union’ section of ‘About Us’  on this site –  .  The campaigning goes on until the EU does see sense and actually moves to better things – I have covered veal calf exports for 25 years so another 25 does not deter me – It is not me who has to worry; but as for the Uk and the EU, well !

Please write to be a voice for the suffering calves; and politicians – wake up to the real world !!

Thanks – Mark.

Veal calf Crated

Above –  Veal Calf Crated – Photo CIWF.

Below is my letter to the EU MEP’s for SE England.  If they respond then the responses will be reproduced on this site.


Dear Sir / Madam;

I am writing with regard the export of live animals from within the EU to non EU nations.

A recent investigation by CIWF (England) showed very young Lithuanian calves being first sent by road to the port of Koper in Slovenia.  A distance of approximately 1030 miles.  Many of them were to weak to stand, but they were still loaded at the point of origin for departure to Koper.

Upon arrival at Koper they then had to endure a further sea journey of approximately 1600 hundred miles to Haifa port in Israel.  Other calves which have also been sent to Israel from other EU nations such as Romania, first endured a road journey to Midia port (Romania) of some 690 miles; then enduring a further sea journey of 1530 miles, again to Haifa in Israel.

Many of these young animals were highly stressed by the time they reached their export port within the EU.  As they endured such poor conditions during their loading, it is not uncommon for many of them to die during the journey.

For those that do survive the terrible sea crossing toIsrael, conditions upon their arrival are no better.  At many facilities filmed by CIWF in Israel, there was no bedding on the floor for the animals and in many cases they were left to lick bare concrete floors in their pitiful search for food after enduring such a journey.  These facilities are known as ‘lock up and leave’; where just this procedure is undertaken; animals are left to fend for their own survival before they are slaughtered.

Eventually some of the animals will go to Israeli slaughterhouses; where they will face inhumane slaughter without stunning.  Others will be driven further across the border into Gaza for even more terrifying and painful deaths.

A recent European Court of Justice ruling said that EU laws on animal transport still apply when animals leave Europe.  The very sad situation is that there is absolutely no enforcement of animal transport regulations to stop exporters from breaking the law.

Thus you, elected MEP’s, the people that EU citizens are allegedly supposed to look up to HAVE dramatically FAILED the animals of Europe seriously.  So why should we have any respect for you ?  You have failed dismally in your work to ensure that regulations are adhered to.

The situation is no different for EU animals being shipped to Turkey for slaughter.  My friend Lesley is the founder of Eyes on Animals in the Netherlands – .  She has just returned from one of her many visits to the EU / Turkish border, where she witnessed EU cattle transporters standing in extreme temperatures for many days to cross the border.  Lesley says – Our inspection team has just come back from Turkey, where we checked on cattle transports at the Bulgarian border. We came back upset, disappointed and angry. Not a lot has changed compared to five years ago. We did accomplish a few things, but still everyday dozens of cattle transports are waiting for hours and sometimes even days, in the burning sun, to be allowed into Turkey.

Working personally in the EU aerospace industry involved with ‘Tornado’ aircraft for some 24 years  , I have always been a pro-EU person.  Unfortunately now; with the failures of animal welfare regulations right across the EU, I am in a position where at the referendum promised for the UK citizens by David Cameron; I will be voting for the UK to get out of Europe.

You may tell me that this will not help the animals of the EU – I reply by asking what actual help are you and your so-called ‘Parliament’ rule makers when we are currently witnessing the vast suffering of young calves being shipped all the way from Lithuania to Israel ? – the EU is failing the animals and animal welfare big time; and I personally hold people like you responsible for not enforcing the so called regulations that exist – 1/2005 et all on the transport of live animals.

Also, lets take the situation for stray animals in Serbia – for which my organisation was founded.   As you can see from the many photographs  and reports on my site; again the EU is not really doing anything regard animal welfare.  The EU Enlargement Commission under Hahn makes all these statements about enforcing the ‘EU Rule of Law’ – a fundamental which must be shown by all accession states.  And yet, for the last 11 years at least, Serbia has never enforced any of its rules of law regarding stray animal welfare.  Here are a few samples from my site to show this:

And how does the EU reprimand Serbia for non enforcement of the rule of law ? – it hands out over 1 BILLION Euros to them as a sweetner for becoming a member of the almighty club !

What with this hunting illegally in Serbia, EU live animal trasnsport to not EU nations  and so many other issues in the EU at this preset time; I think it fair to say that the EU has dramatically failed / is dramatically failing EU citizens.  MEP’s such as yourselves are not ensuring that as ‘our representatives’, rules that currently exist are being enforced.  Thus I ask what the point of MEP’s actually are ? – you are failing EU citizens by failing to enforce existing rules with current and new accession states; or even introduce into your little club new regulations which ban the export of live animals outside of the EU.  In other words I question if you really care about any of it at all !

We all know that the Conservative party (badger killers, fox hunters, bee killers etc) does not actually care about animal welfare, despite their weasel words; but I at least expect better from some other parties.  I appreciate the help that Catherine Bearder has given to live animal transport campaigning; and Mr Keith Taylor for his help and support with Balkans stray animals; but sadly there is very little action to help live animals being transported outside of the EU.  As EoA investigators say – Not a lot has changed compared to five years ago.

I thus deduce that the EU MEP system has failed.  Is there any reason to have people in jobs when they do not act to reflect the wishes of the citizens of Europe ?

For me personally and the UK supporters of my organisation; you have until the UK referendum on Europe to do something and stop the long distance transportation of live animals and to make your voice heard with Commission Hahn regarding Serbia NOT enforcing its own legislation – or its own rules of law.   Animals should be slaughtered as near to their point of origin as possible, then with meat exports only being on the hook, not the hoof.  The EU is failing animals and putting finance above welfare; and I personally am sickened by this and this approach.

Please enforce changes now or be prepared to walk out of the EU come the UK referendum.  The people of the UK want action from people like you, not false ‘forever in the future’ promises that will happen many years down the line; if they ever happen at all.

Yours truly,

Mark Johnson

Founder ‘Serbian Animals Voice’

Date – 31st August 2015.


Venus has left a comment on the site; here is the full transcript as sent.  Thank you Venus.

We hope that people take note of what is said.

Dear Mark,

I’ll try to respond to your letter, as if I were an honest European Parliament Member.
Not one that was elected by EU citizens to earn 12,000 euros a month (at least) without bringing any benefit for it.

The European Union is the Lobby-factory of the agricultural industry.
These agribusiness knows no other purpose than to maximize their profits. It is active, where the profit is greatest.
Examples: piglets are born in Holland, fattened in Spain and slaughtered in Italy.

In this respect, animals are regarded as a profitable source, and therefore the trucks take the living charge to where the money sounds.

No matter how, injured, maimed, bleeding, half-dead or dead, the goods and the money has to be delivered.
Over thousands of kilometers, the EU Commission pays subsidies to support a lucrative business with death and suffering.
As it had promised to the agricultural industry before the elections.

To ensure its voters for the next elections, the EU has introduced some bogus rules: determining the ceiling height, transport breaks, soaking duty, etc. Rules that are never kept, and when they are discovered, the perpetrators come with ridiculous penalties thereof.

No MEP has any interest to improve the transport of animals, to stop the Dog Catcher Mafia in Romania, or to punish the violations of the Serbs against the animal rights before the country enters the EU.
Concerns depend on the highest profits, the business with the transport of animals must be running as well as in all economic sectors.

2,438,306,132 animals are transported annually as a commodity throughout Europe. Humanly seen a disgrace to the 21st century.
For the EU band just a statistic, a number.
And a profitable performance for the agricultural Mafia as promised !!
This is the situation of the EU institution of the 21st century.
By the way, a shame also.

There is an effective method against these two kinds of shame: stop eating meat, and do not go in the EU elections.
No citizen should be used as a useful idiot so MEPs deserves every month what an average citizen earns in the year and with hard work.
Namely, in order to do nothing (at best).