2011: European Cruelty - EU to Turkey

Sheep being transported from Greece to Turkey are forced to rest in their own filth

These sheep being transported from Greece to Turkey were forced to rest in their own filth.

In 2011 we undertook three investigations at the Turkish border to highlight the plight of animals from European Member States being transported to Turkey. These often animals travelled in cramped conditions in temperatures sometimes reaching up to 58 degrees Celsius. They were often subject to long delays at the border, lasting hours or even days, and in some instances did not survive the journey.

In one case, two trucks carrying Greek sheep were stuck at the border for four days. In all, 14 of the sheep died as a result of this prolonged delay.

Out of 158 inspections, an alarming 67% broke the EU’s regulations on the welfare of animals in transport.

Without Care: The export of live animals from the EU to Turkey

Some viewers may find parts of this film disturbing.

The sheep and cattle, including tiny calves, come from a number of EU Member States including Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The trucks carrying the animals are from these countries but also from the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Romania and Croatia.

Once the animals make it through the border, their ordeal is not over. Many face a further gruelling journey through Turkey to as far away as Erzurum in the east of the country, around 1,500 kilometres from the border.

Some of the major problems

  • Severe overcrowding; insufficient headroom
  • inadequate ventilation (in the summer temperatures as high as 58°C were recorded inside the trucks)
  • lack of water.

Tens of thousands of cattle and sheep are exported from across the EU to Turkey every month for fattening and slaughter.

Compassion in World Farming are calling for the EU to:

  • suspend the export of live animals to Turkey in order to prevent further suffering by EU animals;
  • start infringement proceedings against Bulgaria and Hungary for their systematic failure to enforce EU law on the protection of animals during transport;
  • liaise with the authorities of Turkey and the EU Member States involved in the trade to find ways of bringing the lengthy delays at the border to an end.

What you can do

This evidence shows the clear need for an end to live exports from the EU to non-EU countries. Please act now to stop this trade by sending our document summarising the animal welfare problems involved, to the EU Commissioner, Dr Tonio Borg.

Take action

Could you support our work to put a stop to long distance transport with a donation?

Compassion receives no government funding, and our campaigns to protect animals from cruelty depend on the generosity of supporters like you. If you are able, please consider making a donation to Compassion today.



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