Bulgaria | Turkey | Animal transports to Turkey
Animal Welfare Foundation/ Tierschutzbund Zuerich and Eyes on Animals have one team on each side of the border of Bulgaria and Turkey. This week the temperatures are extremely high, with a peak of 43°C. Since years we have been sending reports and complaints to the EU Commission and the Member States about the immense animal welfare problems inherent in this route to Turkey. Even though the Regulation 1/2005 does not allow transport conditions in temperatures exceeding 30 ° Celsius, we find many cattle being carried to Turkey from Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary and other countries such as Germany.
The biggest problem for the animals are the long waiting times to enter the border and inside the border. The minimum time to cross the border is 6 hours, while many transports are stuck inside for more than 12 hours with the animals onboard. The reasons for the long waiting times are traffic jams before the Bulgarian border, route planning not in line with the working times of the Turkish veterinarians, problems with paper work or Turkish import restrictions. The long standing times and the blistering heat are catastrophic for the animals. They are all stressed from the heat and many of them cannot cope with the conditions. We observe a Bulgarian truck with bulls from Romania, all animals are in bad condition. We observe bulls panting with their tongues out. While we are filming a bull collapses in front of our eyes and dies shortly after.
We will continue to put pressure on the Member States to enforce the Regulation and at least to suspend the export of animals to Turkey during the hot summer months. We expect the EU Commission to start infringement procedures against the countries that are ignoring the Regulation for the protection of animals during transport.