animal transport issues

The truth about live animal transport in the EU


Over one billion poultry and 37 million live cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and horses are transported across borders within the EU and to third states annually. This results in huge animal welfare problems due to lengthy transportation time and poor transport conditions. In particular, animals marked for slaughter are often transported for several days in unsuitable conditions, during which some sustain serious injuries or die. In addition, many animals are bred, reared and slaughtered in different locations, increasing the time that each animal spends in transport. 

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Since 2007, EU regulation 1/2005 for the protection of animals during transportation has been in force. However, this regulation is more than disputable and requires urgent amendment: As long as a vehicle fulfils certain conditions, it is permitted to transport pigs for 24 hours without a break and cattle for 29 hours with a one-hour break - the animals have to spend more than a full day in those trucks! Following vehement protests, the EU Commission has announced a revision of the regulation which however has been repeatedly postponed.

the long list of abuse

  • Permitted loading density is exceeded. 
  • Loading density does not allow for a normal sitting or resting position. Insufficient height inside vehicles, especially during the transport of cattle in double-decker trucks. 
  • Missing, faulty or unsuitable drinking devices.  
  • Transport of animals unfit for transport, sick animals and animals with broken limbs. 
  • Transport of heavily pregnant animals.
  • Cases of death during transport, especially among poultry.
  • Fights to establish dominance between animals originating from different stables. 
  • The rough handling of small animals like rabbits and poultry, leading to broken bones and strong fear.
  • Unsuitable loading ramps.
  • Transport companies lacking the necessary authorisation or licences, and vehicles not registered for this kind of transport. 
  • Reckless driving: poorly trained and badly paid drivers without a proper route map.  
  • Permitted transport time is exceeded and breaks are not checked. 
Cattle on a truck

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