Morocco: indescribable cruelty to animals – EU participates

Animals’ Angels e.V. -Report

In July of last year, the the state TV channel of Germany (ARD) reported under the title “Animal transports mercilessly” about our operations in Central Asia and Morocco.

This causes consternation nationwide and prompts several federal states to stop exports to non-EU countries by decree.

At the federal level, despite the increasing public pressure – including from the official veterinary profession – there has been no Germany-wide export ban to this day.

Our on-site research in Morocco is shocking: ‘Dairy’ cows that were imported from Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands can be found under catastrophic conditions in local markets and in slaughterhouses.

In autumn 2020 an Animals’ Angels team discovered the German cow Erika at a market near Rabat. At the age of four, she’s ‘obsolete’ – too sick to give milk.


That is why she has to die – the sad fate of every ‘dairy cow’, regardless of whether it is in Germany or Morocco.
Even if business representatives always claim that exports of ‘breeding’ animals should be valued differently than of ‘slaughter’ animals, we can prove with our operations in Moroccan markets:

Regardless of what an animal is ‘destined’ for, there are no controls whatsoever as to what ultimately happens to it in the exporting country.

And so the concern is justified that it will be resold, transported and slaughtered in cruel conditions.

Some important things on the subject...Agriculture, and especially animal husbandry, is one of the most important economic pillars of Morocco.
Dairy cows are traditionally kept on small farms, 95% of cattle breeders have fewer than 10 cows per farm. Often both milk and meat are produced on these farms.

So far there are only a few large milk producers in Morocco compared to the around 700,000 small and often family-run dairy farms.
Most of these smallholders are members of “milk collecting cooperatives”, which often produce for international companies such as Central Danone or Nestlé, or for COPAG.

Morocco has been importing ‘breeding’ cattle from the EU for decades in order to build up its own breeding population in the country.

For years, Germany and France have been among the largest export countries of female ‘breeding’ cattle to Morocco, followed by the Netherlands, Austria and Spain.
According to Eurostat, 57,276 heifers and cows have been exported from the EU to Morocco for breeding purposes in the last five years.

When they arrive in Morocco, the imported animals must first be quarantined in a barn (so-called lazaret barn) for approx. 15-21 days.

As soon as the health of the imported animals is found to be good and the animals have been accepted by the National Food Safety Authority (ONSSA), the imported cattle are distributed to local dairy farmers.

However, there is still no animal protection law in Morocco.
Thus, there is no legal framework that defines specific rules for the protection and welfare of ‘farmed’ animals during transport, keeping, in markets, in handling them or during slaughter.

Correspondingly, there was a considerable lack of official on-site animal welfare controls.

Morocco is a member of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Morocco has thus committed itself to complying with the animal welfare standards set by the OIE.
Because the OIE does not have the authority to enforce these standards in the individual member countries, each member country is responsible for ensuring that the OIE standards are complied with by introducing the relevant legal provisions.

Sick, old, weak and unfit animals are sold on Marocco`s markets
Some cows are very emaciated, cows with long hoofs and inflamed udders.
Milk calves that wear a muzzle, with sunken flanks and diarrhea.
Bulls and cows blindfolded; animals tied by their legs.
Animals that cannot be identified are also offered for sale (missing ear tags).

Unsuitable transport vehicles and brutal handling during loading is common practice.
In other words, where there is no control, there is abuse of the law and animals.

But the cause of the problem is due to the EU
As before, traders send heifers and cows from Germany over thousands of kilometers to so-called ‘high-risk countries’, which usually have no animal protection law.
And the federal government still refuses to act in the interests of these animals and to issue a uniform ban for transport to these countries.
They shift responsibility to the individual countries.
The meat traders quickly recognized the resulting loopholes and exploited them.
And so, the expectant cow mothers – including detour and 20 days of quarantine – are to be transported painfully.

The EU is the strongest meat industry lobby, and this import business with live “breeding” animals is still going on.

My best regards to all, Venus

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