As we said in our recent post – https://worldanimalsvoice.com/2020/01/31/member-of-the-eu-then-you-have-to-abide-by-these-crazy-regulations-any-wonder-why-brits-want-out-get-real-eu-what-about-important-things/ – ‘Being involved ourselves with live animal transport investigation work for a long time; we have a bit to say about this’.
Hmm; below is a tiny little snapshot of some of the articles we have produced re live animal transport on our WAV and SAV sites over the 30+ years we have been investigating the live animal transport business. As you must be able to tell by now (yes really !); we have no faith in the EU or those involved within EU ‘political elite’ areas it to try and stop live animal transport. We hear now smooth talk of a ‘farm to fork’ strategy only just being recognised by the EU; and we ask ourselves; potential reality or another EU pipe dream ? – pipe dreams look good when they take the form of ‘EU Regulations’; it’s the enforcing of them that is the ‘no go’.
Let us turn to 2 issues that we personally have in depth experience of. Whilst I (Mark) was running SAV in the early days – https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/ and https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/about-us/ – I was also the EU Correspondent for KAALE- Kent Action Against Live Exports; a Kent group which is now still fighting the live animal trade. We then worked with Kent Trading Standards, an official body, to bring about a (successful) prosecution of Mr Onderwater; a Dutch livestock haulier, who had been illegally shipping British sheep to mainland EU, whilst declaring on the formal export paperwork that they were cartons of ‘boxed meat’ and not actual live animals. At a resulting court trial here at Folkestone Magistrates Court, Kent, England; on 5th July 2010 Mr Onderwater pleaded guilty to no less than 6 offences (under the Animal Health Act) of causing animal suffering of sheep in contravention of the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 and EU Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 (Protection of animals during transport).. He was also fined £10,370 and by being convicted under UK law, effectively became a convicted criminal.
More reading on the issue from a Kent newspaper::
It involved a lot of work on our part. We presented all of our evidence relating to the Onderwater offences / prosecutions to both the EU and Dutch authorities; and guess what, the Dutch simply gave him a ‘ticking off’, but allowing him to continue operations in the live animal transport business, whilst the EU simply and totally ignored all of our evidence which simply allowed him to continue with his operations; which he does to this day regardless of his convictions in the UK under a court trial; now shipping live calves and sheep out of (Ramsgate) England to the mainland EU. And the EU thinks it is more important to have legislation about bent bananas that taking action here ! ? !!! – we disagree rather strongly !
For the ‘boxed meat’ shipments, Onderwater was using a ‘sealed type box trailer’ (see photos below), which carried live animals, but from the outside looked like a normal refrigerated trailer. We have always had issues with this type of trailer being used to transport live animals and have been doing running battles with the EU about it for many years !
Both these box trailers are full of live sheep – would you know ?
– where is the signage we ask ?
We were always very concerned that despite what the EU Reg 1/2005 says; about clear identification that live animals are being transported; trailers that we witnessed on the road (as shown above); and there were many times; they hardly ever carried any hint of signage to say that live animals were being carried within. We had specific concerns that should the trailer be involved in a road accident; local emergency rescue crews would not open access doors as they had no information written on the trailer that live animals were being carried. As a result; many animals could have suffocated or endured serious injuries without rescue teams having any idea that live beings were inside. In our reports, we even proposed signage which should be fitted to All areas of the trailer – top / underside, both sides, the rear – making it utterly clear to any emergency rescue crews that live animals were on board. This was nothing new, it should have been automatically undertaken to comply with EU Regulation 1/2005 anyway; but as with most, if not all animal welfare transport regulations in the EU, the hauliers largely ignore them; knowing that there is not really anyone around to enforce !
Here below is a copy of the label which we suggested to the EU that should be fitted on all panels to all box trailers carrying live animals. We suggested about A3 size; with colours of back, red and yellow – a yellow background, wording in red and the animal pictures in black.
In this example we did English and German wording; but suggested that maybe 4 ‘prime’ EU languages should be shown on the warning label. As you can see at the bottom we made it clear to help emergency services – “LIVE ANIMALS – In the event of an emergency; open the trailer doors to provide ventilation immediately”.
The EU never came back to us about this; what, some 10 years ago. Un identified box trailers are still hauling live animals in un-identified configurations on a daily basis !
Have a look at some previous posts we have published on this, and the box type sealed trailers:
Mr Bernard Van Goethem is an EU official very involved with live animal transport; but in our opinion; he does the animals in transport no favours at all. If you look at the EU (DG SANTE) structure chart for ‘Health and Food Safety’, which includes G” – animal health and WELFARE; there is a so called ‘Crisis Management Team’ which is headed by Mr Van Goethem. Sorry, but we have been pointing out a ‘crisis’ with unidentified animal carrying sealed box trailers to him for probably the last 10 years or more – and like all crisis managers; he has decided to ignore the evidence we give, and remedies to correct we propose. When does a crisis become a real crisis we ask ?
In our opinion this man represents everything which is so pathetic about the EU – nice job title; well paid, nice office no doubt; nice suit; but utterly ineffective at taking very important animal welfare issues and decisions on board; and even more seriously; doing anything about rectifying them !
Our section leader at G3; Mr Gavinelli; we have found in our correspondence, is much better than his boss; always willing to listen to our case and being very supportive of animal welfare, for which we thank him. Sadly, Van Goethem is at the top; so in compliance with much of the important things at the EU; nothing really ever gets done.
Here are some posts we have published in the past; many from our ‘SAV’ site – including our requests for him to resign; such is our personal experiences of his animal welfare ‘crisis management’.
WAV – Mr Van Goethem
SAV – Mr Van Goethem
So; just a very short snapshot of how to do a lot (from our side); gather information; present the evidence; and then be completely ignored by the EU or anyone who can actually make proper, effective changes.
Do we get angry with this attitude to what we say ? – yes; a bit; but we are kind of used to it after all these years, but on the flip side, it just gives us additional conviction to fight those like both the above, and the animal transport industry in general.
We do this for nobody but the animals who suffer – for them it is an ‘Eternal Treblinka’.
Photo – Eyes on Animals (NL)
You can run but you cannot hide !