Target: European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan
Goal: Stop the export of live animals forced to endure overcrowding, dehydration and distress over several days.
Each year, millions of farm animals suffer through long distance transport from Europe to countries outside the European Union. They are crammed into trucks, trains and boats with no food, water or rest and are forced to stand in their own excrements for days. Animals as young as two weeks old are forced to endure this grueling journey before being slaughtered under conditions illegal in the EU.
An investigation led by Compassion in World Farming revealed horrible conditions for animals transported live from the EU to war-torn Gaza. After traveling thousands of miles by land and sea from Romania and Hungary, these animals’ lives end in dirty slaughterhouses at the hands of untrained workers. Footage shows cattle that were dragged with ropes from trucks, tied to pillars, and stabbed in the throat multiple times until they collapsed in agony where it took them several more minutes to die. These practices would be in total breach of EU law, but traded animals lose their protection when they are shipped out of Europe.
While this trade is a worldwide phenomenon, the European Union prides itself on high standards of animal welfare and should not be participating in this inhumane trade. Disturbingly enough, no EU country has reported live exports to the Gaza Strip, and EU data makes it look like this trade does not exist. However, according to figures obtained from the Israeli authorities, over 32,000 European animals crossed into the area in 2014 alone.
The head of the European Commission recently stated that EU law requires “full regard [to] be paid to animal welfare,” but this doesn’t apply to animals being traded. Animals subjected to the horrors of live export are sentient beings too and should be afforded the same legal protection as other domestic animals. This cannot happen when they are shipped outside of the EU and forced to endure days of filthy, painful and distressing transport conditions, or when the very existence of the trade is denied by participating countries.
Sign this petition urging EU lawmakers to end live exports from the EU to non-EU countries, as well as demand that the government severely reduce maximum journey time for animals transported across Europe.
Dear Commissioner Hogan,
Millions of animals suffer grueling conditions when transported live from the EU to countries outside Europe. The farm animals suffer for days from dehydration, confinement in trucks, pain and distress. As you are certainly aware, EU animals lose their legal protection when leaving the Union and are therefore vulnerable to extreme abuse and cruelty.
Investigations have documented the horrid conditions these animals endure in slaughterhouses in the Middle East, for instance. Footage shows cattle being dragged with ropes from trucks, tied to pillars, and stabbed in the throat multiple times until they collapse in agony where it then takes several more minutes for them to die.
It is appalling that the Commission allows such a cruel trade to continue. All animals deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. Please take urgent steps to end live exports of animals from the EU to non-EU countries and dramatically reduce maximum journey lengths across Europe.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Writenq