TIR supports "Stop Live Transport" campaign
On today's worldwide "Stop Live Transport" day, animal welfare organizations from all over the world are raising awareness for the enormous suffering of farm animals on long-distance transports.
June 14, 2018
Every year, millions of animals are transported across Europe and other continents; this is due to an absurd subsidy system that creates incentives for live transport. In European countries, there are a number of provisions for the protection of animals for slaughter and fattening during transport. For example, regular watering and feeding are required and the animals must be given time for rest. However, investigations into live transports by animal welfare organizations like Animals' Angels show that the provisions in place are being systematically violated.
Many animals are exported overseas to other continents, meaning that the animals oftentimes spend days on the road before being loaded onto ships to continue their harrowing journey. In theory, the animal welfare provisions in force in the EU must also be observed on their further transport. However, even if there were serious inspections in place, it would be impossible to enforce the regulations in force, meaning they become a dead letter the moment the animals have left EU territory. The same is also true for live transports from Australia, for example. In the past year, there have been numerous investigations into live transports accompanied by extensive video material revealing inconceivable animal suffering. One example worth mentioning is the ZDF documentary "37 Grad: Geheimsache Tiertransport" (37 degrees: secret live animal transport)" released on November 21, 2017 , which bluntly shows the conditions under which animals are transported today and the fact that theses conditions have not changed since 1989.
Animals Australia's latest video footage of animal transport freighters also shows cows and sheep transported over thousands of kilometers for days or even weeks, their most basic needs thereby ignored. The animals are transported in cramped spaces, in extreme temperatures and are given very little water and hardly any food, which is why a striking number of animals dies on the journey. Also, it is not uncommon for pregnant animals to give birth during transport.
In Switzerland, the actual driving time when transporting animals is limited to six hours, while the total transport time, including loading and waiting periods, may not exceed eight hours. However, the authorities tolerate longer transport times for poultry; violations of the maximum transport duration have recently been documented (see SRF program "Kassensturz" from April 24, 2018).
The road transit of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and poultry for slaughter through Switzerland is prohibited under article 175 of the Animal Welfare Ordinance. However, the transit ban for long-distance transports is frequently the subject of political debate because Switzerland is gradually adopting EU law.
Because Switzerland imports high quantities of animal products the issue of long-distance animal transports directly affects us. There is no way of ensuring the well-being of the animals on these long journeys and that is also the focus of the world "Stop Live Transport" day, which calls attention to the suffering of the animals on the way to their deaths. Initiated by the organization Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), campaigns and events by various animal welfare and animal rights organizations are taking place around the world today. The goal is to bring about a change in consumer behavior and in subsidy policies..
TIR urges consumers to make informed decisions, take responsibility and keep the facts in mind when shopping. The demand for such products is the main reason why this ruthless animal transport system is still in place despite the years of criticism brought against it.