What I never realised until I met Lesley from the organization Eyes on Animals is how sad and horrible the transportation of farm animals is. As goods they are transported from city to city, sometimes even different countries, to slaughterhouses.
Treated as things where most companies only care about the costs and logistics of transport and not the welfare of the animals. That’s where Eyes in Animals tries to make a difference. In Europe there’s legislation that companies have to follow to give these animals the protection they deserve. Lesley and her team check if companies are following these rules and if they don’t, they report and sometimes expose them.
94 million animals transported in extreme heat
One of the things they are focussing on in the Netherlands is the tropical heat in which animals were being transported last year. Tuesday they, together with the Dutch society for the protection of animals, presented their report ‘On the breach against heat stress’ to the minister of agriculture Carola Schouten.
They mention that during the summer 94 million animals were transported at temperatures that are not justified. They speak of horrible scenes of animals desperately looking for cooling in overheated livestock trucks, waiting in the burning sun in front of slaughterhouses.
The study states that even on days when the temperature was generously above 30 degrees Celsius, slaughterhouses were still running at full speed and millions of animals were transported. The rule is that above 27 degrees the schedule of slaughterhouses should change. The organizations want this to be lowered to 21 degrees.
They also want that transportation above 30 degrees should only be done in airconditioned trucks. And above 35 degrees should be forbidden. And these rules have to become laws so everyone has to follow them.
The Netherlands has a heat protocol for animal transportation since 2016 but both organizations say that they don’t work because slaughterhouses don’t stick to them.