EU bulls stuck in truck for five days

29 November 2012

A livestock truck with 31 bulls from Latvia is at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey aiming to take the animals to slaughterhouses in Iraq.

Bulls stuck at the EU border with Turkey: This footage was taken after the bulls had been in the stationary truck for five days

It does not have a required document allowing transit via Turkey and so has been stuck at the border since 04:00 on 24 November. The animals have been on board the truck without being unloaded for the entire five days.

The latest report from the border confirms that the truck is still stuck at the border. The Turkish authorities will not allow the bulls to enter Turkey. The Bulgarian authorities will not allow the bulls to re-enter Bulgaria because the truck has been on the Turkish side of the border and the Bulgarian authorities say that certain infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth are endemic in Turkey.

The bulls were loaded on the 20 November in Latvia and have already been transported for over 2,000 km. Another 2000 km are still ahead of the animals until they reach the Iraqi border - if they are eventually allowed to continue the journey.

Regular information is being received from the animal-welfare organisations Animal Welfare Foundation and Eyes on Animals whose inspectors are at the border. Compassion in World Farming, Animal Welfare Foundation and Eyes on Animals are calling on the European Commission to work with the Bulgarian and Turkish authorities to resolve this disastrous situation.

Peter Stevenson, Compassion in World Farming's Chief Policy Advisor, said: "It is vital that the European Commission and the Bulgarian and Turkish authorities take urgent action to resolve this situation. If the animals are forced to remain longer on the truck at the border, we could see animals beginning to die.The animals should be allowed to re-enter the EU and taken to proper facilities where they can be given rest, food, water and veterinary care.

Last year over one million cattle and sheep were exported from the EU to Turkey. This trade is responsible for immense animal suffering due to the length of the journeys and the regular protracted delays at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey. The export of live animals to Turkey, Iraq and other countries outside the EU should now be banned."

Take Action:

  • Please email EU Commissioner Dr Tonio Borg, CAB-SEFCOVIC@ec.europa.eu. Ask him to liaise between Turkey and Bulgaria to alleviate the immediate suffering of these animals, and ensure that all animals travelling from the EU to non-EU countries have their welfare protected. In particular, no farm animal should travel for more than 8 hours to slaughter, and slaughter must meet or exceed international animal welfare guidelines.
  • Please ask your friends to take this action too.

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