To highlight the reality of life for sows living on a factory farm, Dutch filmmaker Eline Helena Schellekens and editor Kate Morgan, have released a new, short film – ‘Motherhood’, which was commissioned by Compassion (CIWF).
‘Motherhood’ comes after the award-winning short film ‘M6NTHS’, from Eline Helena Schellekens, which told the story of life on a factory farm from a piglet’s point of view.
We ask for the prohibition of the forced molting of chickens in Mexico.
New research documents the cruel practice of forced molting in the Mexican egg industry where chickens go up to 7 days without water and food.
In Mexico there is still a practice, prohibited in Europe, that makes hens used for egg production suffer beyond the serious consequences of being kept in cages for life. It is about the Pelecha or Forced Muda by fasting.
A cruel practice that consists of depriving the hens of water and food for 7 days to accelerate their next laying cycle so that they can be exploited for a longer time, causing them great suffering.
Up to a third of them die during or after the fast.
The Animal Equality Researchers have documented this practice of forced molting so that society knows what happens on the farms and supports the legal initiative that we have presented in Mexico.
A 7-day fast has serious consequences for chickens:
-1 in 3 die during and after the process.
-The most basic needs of animals, such as food or drink, are taken from them in the name of financial gain.
-Demineralization in their bones that aggravates the injuries and diseases they suffer in their legs due to being confined in cages.
-Dehydration and extreme suffering.
-Depression of their immune system that makes them susceptible to developing diseases such as salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli and avian typhoid.
-Dermatitis that is aggravated by the loss of feathers.
-Increase in aggressions among chickens that cause wounds that are not treated by veterinarians.
-Total limitation of any natural behavior in chickens such as stretching their wings or walking.
The hens that survive are regrouped in cages with other hens with which they have not lived, this has a great impact on the birds since they will be crowded with others they do not know and added to stress, hunger and thirst, social problems arise and the spread of disease.
The bill presented in the Congress of Jalisco and for which a positive opinion has already been approved is unprecedented in Mexico because it is the first that seeks to include a chapter on Animal Welfare in the Law for the Protection and Care of Animals of the State of Jalisco in favor of animals used in industrial livestock.
-Provide welfare to all animals intended for supply or consumption without making distinctions or exclusions.
-Prohibit forced molting through the deprivation of food and water in chickens used for egg production.
-Define the cage-free system and order the implementation of a State Standard.
-To urge the creation of the Official Mexican Standard for the production of Cage-Free Eggs.
-Seek a greater professionalization of the handling of animals by specifying that only registered operators and in the presence of a veterinarian can perform painful interventions.
Forced molting by fasting has been prohibited in the European Union and India, but in Mexico there is still this practice completely incompatible with animal welfare.
And I mean…Millions of animals in this modern concentration camp are mistreated, tortured and killed.
These affected animals suffer and die for all who eat their meat and eggs.
These animals do not vegetate there voluntarily.
The sacrifice of their freedom and their life is forced out by force.
All of these animals feel and think.
They feel fear and pain, joy and hope, lead a conscious life and want to grow old with their feelings and thoughts.
Therefore, they have a natural right to their life and to protection from torture.
Factory farming all over the world is a legalized crime, to which the power enables, but no morality justifies.
In this industry, the right of the fittest shows only its most hideous grimace.
We have to give animals back their rights.
For decades we have been calling for an end to the cruel and monstrous factory farming, in Europe, many “organic” stables with cows or bigs are not looking much better than in Mexico.
But hope grows under the struggle of the animal rights activists.
Years ago, such initiatives would have been unthinkable.
The power of the system is crumbling.
In 2019 over 1,600,000,000 (One thousand, six hundred MILLION) ovines (sheep), bovines (caattle), poultry and pigs were transported alive across the European Union and to non-European (EU) countries. Journeys can last several days or even weeks, exposing animals to exhaustion, dehydration, injury, disease and even death.
Routinely, investigations on live transport both via sea and road find serious breaches of the utter farce which is known as Council Regulation 1/2005 (Transport Regulation); supposedly for the ‘protection’ of animals in transport.
Official audits confirm NGOs’ investigations findings. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, DG SANTE audited 11 Member States and visited Turkey: shortcomings with different levels of severity were found in the majority of them concerning transport both via sea and by road. For instance, the audits carried out in France, one of the biggest EU exporters of live animals, concluded that “the measures in place do not provide satisfactory assurances that exports of live animals operate smoothly and that these journeys are correctly planned and carried out in line with animal welfare requirements to prevent causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to the animal”. Particularly problematic is when trucks and vessels load very young animals that are still on milk dietary (unweaned animals).
WELFARM and AWF followed a truck loaded with 155 young calves being transported from Poland to the Franco-German border. Investigators found that the animals were kept in the truck for 20 hours, with no breaks or unloading and no access to water and food, in clear breach of the Transport Regulation detailed above.
It’s even worse in the summer months, when temperatures as high as 30 degrees Celsius create hellish conditions, causing even more health and welfare problems to the animals being transported. Over this period the demand for live animals by third countries increases due to the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’. As a consequence, large numbers of live sheep and cattle are sent to the Middle East via European ports (Cartagena, Midia, Rasa, and Sete are the major exit points for live export) and the Bulgarian/Turkish border, which remains a hotspot with crisis happening every year.
In the past years we have seen the ineffective EU Commission sending letters to the ineffective EU competent authorities warning them about the risk for animal welfare related to the high temperatures. With some exceptions, its calls remained unheard over the years.
The case of Romania is emblematic: a DG SANTE audit revealed how poorly the country is implementing the EU Transport Regulation, moreover it exported 70,000 sheep in disregard of legally binding animal welfare standards and the call of the then EU Commissioner V. Andriukaitis to stop that operation.
In addition to these long journeys impacting the animals welfare, they’re also badly treated by operators with inadequate equipment. Recently we witnessed what happens if one of these ships perishes: the death by drowning of both animals and human beings. Also, organisations have shown that upon arrival in third countries, the majority of the animals are handled in a brutal manner and slaughtered without stunning.
A recent investigation revealed the cruelty with which French farm animals are treated when they reach slaughterhouses in Morocco and Lebanon.
The transport of live animals to non-EU countries is particularly problematic. Besides the problems at departure, the animals have to endure very long journeys in countries where they cannot benefit from the legal protection they receive in the EU. As confirmed by the cases of the animals on board the vessels Karim Allah and Elbeik, very often contingency plans do not exist, regardless they are mandatory by law.
Despite the verdict by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) establishing mandatory compliance with the EU Transport Regulation provisions until final destination regardless of this being outside the European Union, it is impossible to monitor such a compliance.
De facto this trade continues regardless of the lack of information by Member States and the EU Commission on whether these countries implement EU animal welfare transport standards
SO, WHAT DOES THE PUBLIC THINK?
Live animal transport emerged as one of the top concerns for EU citizens “for the future of agriculture, fishery and food production in Europe”, in the latest Future of Europe survey.
This was also demonstrated by the success of Eurogroup for Animals’ StopTheTrucks campaign in 2016-2017, which exceeded its target of one million signatures.
POLICY – CURRENT STATE OF PLAY
To allegedly ‘protect the welfare of animals during transport’, the EU set a series of requirements in the Transport Regulation, which entered into force in January 2007 and applies to all the transport across and from the EU. As recently confirmed by the EU Parliament Implementation Report on this matter, the Transport Regulation is outdated and very unevenly implemented.
To shed light on this situation, in 2020 the EU Parliament set up a Committee of Inquiry on live transport to assess the responsibilities of the EU Commission and the EU Member States in implementing and enforcing the Transport Regulation.
Meanwhile, the EU Commission announced the revision of the Transport Regulation in the framework of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. To make sure the revised text will enhance animal welfare and support the building up of a sustainable food production chain, Eurogroup for Animals wrote a White Paper ‘Live animal transport: time to change the rules’. The paper provides the EU Commission and the EU co-legislators with species- and category-specific provisions and ad-hoc definitions, to ensure the welfare of all the animals transported alive.
What we (Eurogroup for Animals) want.
Eurogroup for Animals urges the EU to use the revision of the Transport Regulation to introduce both a ban on the transport of live animals outside its borders, and stricter species-specific requirements for transport across the EU (including species-specific maximum journey times).
Additionally, the EU should work on a strategy to shift from live transport to a trade of meat and carcasses as well as genetic material.
What we at World Animals Voice (WAV) want.
At the very least, a complete end to all animals being exported live outside of EU borders.
A priority to be made for trade in carcass meat ‘on the hook, not the hoof’ to take maximum priority over live animal transport to be initiated by the EU.
A one off maximum journey time throughout the EU of 8 hours or less to be applicable for ALL species destined for live transport.
Major emphasis to be placed on a shift throughout the EU for meat and carcass to replace the transport of live animals. Empahasis t be made on plant based foods.
A much needed major review of the paltry regulations defined in Reg 1/2005 on the so called ‘protection’ of animals in transport for animals undertaking an8 hour one off maximum journey.
Guarantees from the EU that all member states will comply with animal transport regulations. Words are not enough, we want actions – member states such as Romania, who are shown to be non compliant, must be banned from the transport of all live animals.
Now that the UK has left the EU (Brexit), and become an independent state once again able to make its own legislation free from the EU, it is currently progressing with an introduction of formal parliamentary legislation which will end the export of live animals for slaughter and further fattening.
Like all UK parliamentary actions, the draft legislation passes between the House of Commons and the Lords, and is scrutinised and amended, until both houses are happy with the draft, which then moves to become formal legislation (law).
Obviously, these actions take time, but they are currently in progress, and soon we hope to announce that the UK has formally stopped the live exports of animals.
But the work for campaigners does not stop with this, which will be seen as a massive victory for animals. Under the EU, live farm animals will continue to be exported. So major attention and actions have to be give to EU campaigner friends to get the ban across the EU.
Pipe dreams ? – maybe, but then a few years back if anyone had said that there was going to be an EU act to ban the caging of farm animals, they would have been laughed out of town. Now it has formally been decided n by the EU, so the hope for very serious actions re live animal transport in Europe is another major campaign. We are confident; like the cages, the EU has to listen and act to its citizens if it wants to retain any credibility.
Like the cage ban, for live exports, it’s time to evolve !
Aid for companion animals affected by flooding in Germany
29 July 2021 Deutscher Tierschutzbund News
The storms in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and in other regions of Germany such as Saxony and Bavaria are devastating. The flood caused great damage and also hit animal welfare associations, animal shelters and companion animal owners in the affected regions. Our member organisation Deutscher Tierschutzbund put initiatives in place to help victims.
Animal shelters that got off lightly started aid campaigns at short notice and offered other animal shelters and evacuated animal owners to temporarily take in their pets. Many private individuals also offered their support.
Exploring EU-China cooperation to improve animal welfare and food systems
22 July 2021
On 13 July, Eurogroup for Animals and the Good Food Fund hosted the 9th UNFSS China Dialogue. The event, which gathered participants from the political, business, academic and NGO sectors, explored how the EU and China could cooperate to improve animal welfare, and therefore transition towards more sustainable food systems.
During the webinar, experts stressed the growing importance of animal welfare for consumers, both in China and the EU, paving the way for the EU and China to collaborate on the topic.
Participants also highlighted the importance of animal welfare in achieving sustainable trade and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the interlinks between animal welfare and human health.
With the publication of the EU’s “Farm to Fork” strategy aiming to foster the transition towards Sustainable Food Systems, and the subsequent announcement made by the European Commission on a future ban of caged productions – which should be applied by 2027, including possibly to EU imports – the momentum has never been so high for the EU and China to put animal welfare high on their agenda for cooperation.
As noted during the event by Zhao Wanping (NPC delegate), animal welfare draft bills are now submitted every year in China, suggesting that the country is willing to achieve progress on animal welfare. In that context, experts noted that the EU animal welfare requirements for imported products may serve as a catalyst for improving the welfare of farm animals in China, rather than a trade barrier.
Topics of discussion further focused on how to improve food systems through policies and regulations. Increased animal welfare standards were identified by experts as a way to deliver not only sustainable food systems, but also consumer health, ecological balance and food security. From a trade perspective, experts noted that aligned animal welfare standards between the EU and China would grant a competitive advantage to businesses on both sides. The last part of the event was centered on the role of public awareness, with speakers emphasising the significant increase of animal welfare awareness among Chinese consumers, particularly among the young generation.