In February, the organization Animals International released undercover footage showing the abuse of farm animals exported from Europe to the Middle East. Cows and sheep from at least five EU countries are seen being beaten and electroshocked as they are loaded onto ships in Croatia. On arrival in Middle Eastern ports up to two weeks later, animals are shown covered in feces as they are unloaded. Finally, they are shown trucked to slaughterhouses and killed, suspended by their legs as their throats are hacked open.
Such commonplace acts of cruelty, which violate numerous European Union regulations, show a chronic failure to enforce animal welfare standards during live export abroad. On March eighth, Israel became the first government to respond to the exposé, halting all live imports of farm animals from Romania. Politicians from Germany, France, Lithuania, and Finland have all called on the European Commission to strengthen enforcement of welfare standards and pass laws regulating the slaughter of European animals overseas. Animals International and European animal protection groups hope to end international transport of live farm animals altogether. Six hundred and fifty thousand cattle and two point five million sheep were exported from Europe to the Middle East in the last year alone.
You can help Animals International end the live export of farm animals overseas by signing their petition to the World Organisation for Animal Health.
All images courtesy Animals International.