Animal transports in EU: a sick system

On May 21, the Osnabrück (north Germany) Administrative Court put economic interest above the welfare of the animals and allowed the currently discussed transport of 528 cattle from Lower Saxony to Morocco!

Lower Saxony’s Agriculture Minister Otte-Kinast had prohibited the planned transport of breeding cattle by decree.

The cattle breeding company defended itself against this and won the case: a ban on transport had been overturned by the court!!

Now new recordings show the terrible mistreatment of European sheep in Jordan.

But this is not an isolated case – the system behind it has assumed frightening proportions.

Videos were leaked to the global animal welfare organization “Four Paws” showing dozens of sheep being brutally killed in a ditch near Amman, Jordan.
Meanwhile, their conspecifics have to watch their murder in a crowded paddock next to it.


Sheep from Romania and Spain were among those killed, as their ear tags revealed.
These are gruesome recordings that are now coming to light: The videos that “Four Paws” has now received show how a sheep is herded to the butcher, past other sheep that are already dead and lying on the ground in their own blood.

Another clip shows the last spastic movements of a half-dead animal while the butcher is skinning another sheep directly above it.

Right next to the slaughterhouse, in an overcrowded paddock, dozens of sheep are waiting for the same fate, full of fear and no possibility of hiding, and have to watch their conspecifics being murdered next to them.

Sheep from Romania and Spain were among those killed, as their ear tags revealed.

(The short video from Jordan can be seen in this newspaper report:

Tied bull from the Czech Republic shortly before slaughter in Lebanon (Photo: © Animals International)

These are sheep from Europe, more precisely from countries of the European Union such as Romania or Spain – ultimately our sheep.
The video currently circulating shows their sad end in Jordan, but it could just as easily have come from Libya.

Thousands of European sheep are imported into these countries every day. Countless of them die on the way, as reports from experts confirm.
But even if half the animals die, it’s still a business!
It is a total failure of the European Union, which should not actually approve such transports.

But the problem lies in the implementation: The European Court of Justice has already ruled that the European standards, which are still too lax but at least far above those in the Middle East, apply not only to the place of origin but also to the place of destination.

No protection en route and not on site: Our laws have been overturned

And also over the whole trip there. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are de facto no protective provisions on ships. The maximum duration of transport has been suspended, the supply is catastrophic.

Many die on the ships and are simply overboard. And once the animals have arrived in Morocco, in Libya or, as in this case, in Jordan, there is no longer any serious control of compliance with our standards. The animals are absolutely defenseless.

For this reason, experts have long been calling for a complete export ban on live animals to third countries.
Also in Germany and Austria.
And counties are also repeatedly fighting against the transports, as the current case in Lower Saxony shows.
But the transporters appeal against the stops in court and very often win.
The authorities are faced with an overwhelming power of economic interests, against which only stricter laws would help.

But that is what is needed at EU level.

Sick system over thousands of kilometers
After Libya, Jordan is the country outside the EU that imports the most sheep and lambs, with an average of two thousand animals per day. However, exports of live animals from EU member states to third countries are extremely problematic. Cramped together on trucks or ships, the animals are often on the move for weeks. They suffer from heat or cold, thirst, stress and anxiety. Numerous animals die every day during transport.

And I mean…Article 20a of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany gives the protection of animals constitutional status as a national goal.
The conditions during animal transport and slaughter in third countries blatantly contradict this national goal.

Numerous Video footage show the cruel slaughter practices to which the animals are exposed in most third countries.
These are far from even the minimum animal welfare requirements of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Where doesn’t the EU actually fail ?!
If the EU wants to be really useful for something at least once, then it should first stop the live animal transports immediately, and also cut the subsidies.
The cause of the cruel animal transports are often, if not always, the fat subsidies of the EU. Be it direct subsidies from animal fatteners or subsidies for slaughterhouses or export subsidies for agricultural exports etc.

The main concern of the EU is the cherry picking of third countries in their protectionist internal market of equalization.
It is naive to hope and believe that someone in the Commission or in Parliament is effectively taking care of the cruel animal transports.
As is well known and demonstrably, the EU is not in a position to solve any pending issue on the long waiting list of unsolved problems.
It would be cheaper to export the corrupt politicians.
And it would also be more effective.

My best regards to all, Venus

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