Guest commentary by Daniela Schneider: (She is the campaign manager for animal transports at the animal rights organization “Four paws Germany” based in Hamburg).
“Eyes wide open in panic, cattle shivering with exhaustion, huddled together and carted for days without a break in high-risk states such as Uzbekistan, Morocco, or Algeria under animal welfare law: Everyday torment of animals – even on German roads.
But instead of ending this ordeal, Agriculture Minister Germany`s Klöckner is not only inactive in this country.
It also misses the chance of the German EU Council Presidency to stop cruel animal transports across the EU.
If animal transports are dispatched from Germany to these third countries, this is almost always done in disregard of the applicable animal protection regulations.
“Four Paws” has therefore filed 21 criminal charges against those responsible on suspicion of aiding and abetting animal cruelty. Although almost all federal states have ensured that far fewer third-country exports are approved, transporters unscrupulously circumvent the applicable requirements.
The animals are first brought to other EU countries such as Hungary and then shipped on to third countries.
Instead of leaving the federal states alone as before, the minister should create nationwide uniform legislation that ensures that animals can no longer enter third countries. That would be an important first step and a strong signal in the direction of the EU.
Because the problem is a European one.
Only through an EU-wide ban on third-country exports and a limitation of transports to eight hours will the cruel animal transports actually end.
Together with us, 150,000 citizens are calling for this in a letter of protest to the minister.
Alternatives to the senseless death drives must become standard. If at all, only meat and breeding seeds should be transported instead of living animals.
Against the background of blatant animal welfare problems and a worsening climate crisis, the question arises why animals are “produced” on a massive scale and transported across the world like goods”.
And I mean…Around 3.8 million animals are transported every day in the EU alone. That’s 1.4 billion animals a year.
As in all branches of the economy, animal transport is all about money: animals are transported to where the highest profits await. In the agricultural industry, work steps are separated: breeding, keeping, and fattening are concentrated where feed and wage costs are low.
For example, animals are born in Denmark, fattened in Germany, and finally slaughtered in Italy.
An EU animal welfare transport regulation EC 1/2005 applies throughout the EU.
Why animal transport laws don’t protect animals?
First and foremost because there is no time limit for animal transport. The animals are often on the move for days, sometimes even weeks, because there is no time limit for the transports.
On the other hand, because the EU regulation contains a large number of imprecise provisions that are always interpreted to the detriment of animals in practice.
Not even the few regulations that exist are observed: Serious deficiencies are found in around a third of the controlled transports.
Basically, food, litter, and drinking water are saved, because additional weight means higher transport costs.
And there is also a third reason for the meat industry and its lobbyists in Brussels to stick to live animal transports: The transport of live animals is still cheaper than transporting meat, which has to be permanently refrigerated.
And that is why the cruelty to animals on Europe’s roads never ends.
For a decisive change in the problem, one can forget about the EU.
Only civil society can change something – and it is developing into a new historical subject that even functions without a party program.
My best regards to all, Venus