Animals are not always killed on farms, they are transported to slaughterhouses. As the number of slaughterhouses becomes smaller, the animals are transported long distances before being killed. This is why hundreds of millions of animals are transported in trucks across Europe every year.
Unfortunately, some animals are also transported to far abroad countries, to the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. So why are animals exported? The answer to this question is very simple – because of money. Most of the sheep exported to France and Spain and other countries in the European Union are not slaughtered immediately, but are first allowed to graze for several weeks. Do you think this is done so that the animals come to their senses after a long move? Or because people feel sorry for them? Not at all – so that French or Spanish producers can claim that the meat of these animals was produced in France or Spain, and so that they can stick a label on meat products “Domestic productand sell the meat at a higher price. The laws that govern the handling of farm animals vary from country to country. For example, in some countries there are no laws on how to slaughter animals, while in other countries, such as the UK, there are rules for slaughtering livestock. According to UK law, animals must be rendered unconscious before being killed. Often these instructions are ignored. However, in other European countries the situation is not better, but even worse, there is actually no control at all over the process of slaughtering animals. AT Greece Animals can be hammered to death Spain sheep just cut off the spine, in France animals have their throats cut while they are still fully conscious. You might think that if the British were really serious about protecting animals, they would not send them to countries where there is no control over the slaughter of animals or where this control is not the same as in UK. Nothing like this. Farmers are quite content to export live cattle to other countries where livestock is slaughtered in ways that are prohibited in their own country. In 1994 alone, about two million sheep, 450000 lambs and 70000 pigs were exported by the UK to other countries for slaughter. However, pigs often die during transport – mainly from heart attacks, fear, panic and stress. It is not at all surprising that transportation is a great stress for all animals, regardless of distance. Just try to imagine what it’s like to be an animal that has seen nothing but its barn or the field where it was grazing, when suddenly it is driven into a truck and driven somewhere. Very often, animals are transported separately from their herd, along with other unfamiliar animals. The conditions of transportation in trucks are also disgusting. In most cases, the truck has a metal two or three deck trailer. Thus, the droppings of animals from the upper tiers fall onto those below. There is no water, no food, no sleeping conditions, only a metal floor and small holes for ventilation. As the truck doors slam shut, the animals are on their way to misery. Transportation can last up to fifty hours or longer, the animals suffer from hunger and thirst, they can be beaten, pushed, dragged by their tails and ears, or driven with special sticks with an electric charge at the end. Animal welfare organizations have inspected many animal transport trucks and in almost every case violations have been found: either the recommended transport period has been extended, or recommendations regarding rest and nutrition have been ignored altogether. There were several reports in the news bulletins of how trucks carrying sheep and lambs stood in the scorching sun until almost a third of the animals died of thirst and heart attacks.