Compassion in World Farming and Animals' Angels have logged a formal complaint to the European Commission after discovering that the Spanish authorities are turning a blind eye to animals travelling long and illegal journeys.
Animals' Angels, a German based organisation, has spent two years monitoring journeys from Spain to Italy for thousands of horses, pigs, sheep and cattle and found serious breaches of EU animal protection legislation routinely occurring during these journeys.
No attempt has made by the Spanish authorities to enforce EU legislation and as a result animals are regularly transported for over 35 hours without any proper rest, food or water. The Madrid based organisation, ANPBA (the National Association for the Protection and Welfare of Animals), working closely with CIWF and Animals Angels, is also sending a formal complaint to the Spanish Government.
Each year around 300,000 animals are exported from Spain to Italy for slaughter. EU law states that these animals should, after travelling for 29 hours in the case of sheep and cattle and 24 hours in the case of pigs and horses, be unloaded and given food, water and 24 hours rest.
"This is one of the worst live export trades in Europe and involves great animal suffering," says Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor for Compassion in World Farming.
"We hope that our complaint will lead either to Spain starting to enforce the law and improve journey conditions or the Spanish authorities being taken to the European Court of Justice."
Compassion in World Farming is playing a leading role in the 'Handle with Care' global campaign to stop the unnecessary and cruel long distance transport of animals for slaughter.
- Watch the videos and read the case studies on the 'Handle with Care' website