26. March 2023

Easter investigation in Italy: Long-distance transports of lambs

One of the repeated problems is the lack of headspace.

It is impossible for the lambs to reach the drinkers that are made for pigs.

Our team is inspecting a transport with lambs from Romania.

This consignment is carrying 250 animals too many. The conditions inside the truck are extremely overcrowded.

Our investigative teams are on the road once again, this time to inspect trucks carrying lambs to Italy for Easter. Since 2016, we have repeatedly observed the same violations committed by the same transport companies.

This time, we have requested the support of the Italian police five times and were able to assist in four inspections. We have detected the same violations as in previous years: too many animals in the truck, inadequate drinking systems for unweaned lambs and sheep, not enough head space, and animals with trapped legs and heads.

One of the Romanian transport companies that regularly transports lambs to Italy carries 250 animals over the limit allowed by the EU transport regulation 1/2005. The conditions are extremely overcrowded, and the animals can barely move. In addition, smaller animals get their legs stuck between the side wall and the floor. A few hours later, in another truck belonging to the same transport company, we detect the same problems.

In all inspected vehicles, the animals are hungry and thirsty, and they desperately bite the metal bars and lick the walls and metal nipples. They can smell water but cannot drink it because they do not know how to use the drinkers. Others cannot even reach them. These nipples are suitable for pigs but not for lambs or sheep. We have complained about the same violations for eight years, and still, some member states ignore these problems. We are going to report the found violations to the competent authorities and will continue to hold up the pressure on the responsible institutions in order to end cruel long-distance transports of lambs and sheep.

Watch the investigation video here