The carcasses of fourteen cows have been found washed up on beaches in Denmark and Sweden. Police suspect that the cows were thrown overboard from a live transport vessel in the Baltic sea.
Some of the black and white Holstein cows were discovered on the Swedish coast and three on beaches in Denmark. All of the cows had parts of their ears cut off, likely in order to remove their earmark identification.
At least two of the Swedish cows had been shot. Some appeared to have had their stomachs cut open and many had their legs bound together with rope. It therefore looks as though the cows were already dead, then intended to sink when they were hoisted overboard with a crane.
Investigators believe that the cows died whilst being transported live from the USA to Russia.
This is not the first time Compassion has been saddened to hear of deaths on live transport vessels following this trading route. In August 2012 we reported the death of 400 pregnant cattle on board the Pearl of Para, a ship travelling between USA and Russia.
The boat in question is now on its way to Beirut, where some of the animals are likely to end up at Beirut Public Slaughterhouse, which we recently investigated, uncovering horrific animal cruelty.
Dil Peeling, Director of Campaigns at Compassion, says "This shocking incident is a fresh reminder of the risks inherent in the live export trade. We may never know who was responsible for this act - something that underlines the impossibility of regulating this trade and the urgent need to end it."
Compassion has exposed breaches of animal welfare in multiple instances of live transport in the UK and abroad. We believe that the long distance transport of farm animals results in suffering and poor animal welfare regardless of where they are going to or travelling from.