Live transports are a lucrative business.

Transports abroad: animal cruelty – officially approved!

Live transports are a lucrative business. Almost twice the cattle in Turkey or Egypt. But exports from the EU are systematically undermining animal welfare.


Blue tiles cover the walls of the slaughterhouse; huge fresh pools of blood cover the floor. A dozen men in rubber boots are standing around a black ox. Suddenly, one of the men approaches the animal with the blade in his hand. Blood splatters. Manholes is a brutal craft.

The pictures are from the animal rights organization “Animals International“, taken somewhere in the Middle East. What is considered in this country animal cruelty, there is an Islamic custom, even if there are now ways to numb the animals before.



Cruel scenes are not an isolated case.

In their research, animal rights activists repeatedly come across cattle from the EU. Their meat is sought after in the Middle East for their quality. Thanks to European agricultural policy, there is an abundance of cattle for which customers are urgently sought.

The animals in the slaughterhouse should come from Romania and Germany. At first glance, this is not recognizable, because the ear tags were removed to disguise the origin. Which dealer or exporter would like to be associated with bloody battle scenes?

Export of live animals is worthwhile

Living animals in Turkey are in particular demand, with nearly a third of exports – a total of 30,346 cattle – going there last year. The reasons why it must be live animals: The slaughter should be made according to Islamic custom and the entire animal can be recycled. A profitable business for everyone involved: While in Germany a cow contributes around 1500 euros, the dealer in Turkey, Lebanon or Egypt can demand double that.

EU Animal Protection Ordinance does not end at the EU’s external borders

For almost a decade, Iris Baumgärtner from the animal welfare organization “Animal Welfare Foundation” has been following up on the question, whether livestock exports comply with European animal welfare standards. Because the European animal welfare regulations apply from the place of departure to the destination – no matter where.

There are strict rules for thousands of miles of transport: animals must be unloaded for feeding and watering for a full day after 29 hours of driving. But beyond the EU borders, there is often a lack of appropriate care facilities and stables.

If this is not possible then the transports should not be approved. So far the theory. In practice, the veterinary offices of the districts are responsible for this. But after contrasts research, the transports are often waved after a superficial check.


Transport difficult to check

A veterinarian reports contrasts from common practice: she often receives only place names, no exact addresses. With the help of Google Maps, she tries to check if there are stables or the like there. “If there is no stable at the given location, but because there are only residential buildings or only a large playground, then of course I can prevent that.” But only then. The vet can, of course, also stick to a list of the EU with an overview of stables in third countries where the animals can allegedly be cared for. The problem: The list is from 2009 and is largely worthless, my animal rights activists.

Contraste has followed a normal cattle transport: starting point is the Bavarian Ohrbach. Here 62 pregnant young cattle (!!!) are transported away on a morning in May. Contrasts wanted to know where these cows are brought to. The competent Landratsamt calls on repeated demand the target: Gissar in Tajikistan. Nine days should take the ride there, it goes over 6,500 kilometers. Can the animals rest? The District Office Amberg-Sulzbach states: “At present, we only have the data for the transport planning, in which only the locations and not the exact addresses of the control, supply or collection points must be entered.”

Whether there are appropriate stables at the specified locations, was obviously not checked before the approval of the transport. A clear disregard for the European animal welfare regulations, judge legal experts – but unfortunately everyday life in the EU.

Translation: Venus

About this theme reported the first program (ARD) in the TV- Broadcast “Contrasts” on May 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm