Yet again, lambs have been transported across the EU for days with no water, food, room to rest or veterinary care. An investigation by Animal Welfare Foundation sheds light on the systematic cruelties and violations behind the transport of lambs from Eastern Europe to Italy during Easter.
Every year during Easter, Italy imports tens of thousands of lambs for slaughter, mostly from Romania and Hungary. In 2018 Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF|TSB) and Animal Equality Italy released an investigation exposing the terrible conditions in which 800 lambs of only four weeks old were transported for at least 30 hours from Eastern Europe. At that time, AWF|TSB called the police, who fined the transporter 20,000 euros.
This year AWF|TSB teams investigated eleven trucks on 14-17 April, three of them in collaboration with the Italian police. Alarmingly, this latest investigation confirms that nothing has changed, and the story repeats itself.
This year, the three trucks inspected by the police and transporting about 2,400 lambs were fined about 15,000 euros for infringing the EU Transport Regulation (Ref. leg. 1/2005). Violations detected included overcrowding that impeded animals from moving and standing in a natural position, insufficient ceiling height, inappropriate drinking systems that cause dehydration, and incorrectly filled-in papers.
One of the drivers stopped did not even have the authorization to transport live animals, and another of the three trucks was from Hungary and had already been checked by AWF|TSB in 2018, 2017 and 2016, with the same violations recorded by the investigators in 2019. In a truck from Romania, AWF|TSB spotted a lamb that was laying on the ground, unable to stand and breath normally. Since the vehicle was lacking of emergency doors, the team of investigators was not able to help him and it was left on the truck, without any veterinary care, for transport to the slaughterhouse.
AWF|TSB will continue working with its lawyer to put pressure on the transporters, the veterinarians involved and the slaughterhouses.
A video of the investigation is available here.