21. April 2023

Investigation in Poland: Live transport inspections during the night together with the Polish Road Transport Police (ITD)

Irish transporter carries 47 unweaned calves too many. Also, there is insufficient space above their heads.

German calves spotted in transport from the Netherlands.

Our team inspects a truck loaded with Danish piglets together with the Polish ITD.

Insufficient bedding results in the accumulation of water on the floor.

An inappropriate divider with too big gaps between the bars poses a risk for small piglets.

Our investigation team is once again supporting the Polish Road Transport Police (ITD) during live transport inspections. This time, we are working through the night. In just eight hours, we inspect seven trucks (one of which is empty). Among them are three international live transporters carrying piglets for fattening from Denmark to Poland. All of them are equipped with unsuitable dividers that pose a risk of injury to the animals. In one truck there is almost no bedding, and water is already dripping from the vehicle, creating another animal welfare hazard as the animals may slip and get injured on the wet floor.

Next, we inspect three calf transports. Two of them come from the Netherlands, and one is from Ireland. Among the Dutch animals, we also discover calves from Germany and Luxembourg. The Irish calves appear tired as it is already their fourth day of transport. Although they have been rested twice, long-distance transports are an ordeal for such young animals. Some calves are only four weeks old, which means they have not been weaned off their mother's milk yet. During our further inspection, we find serious violations. The drinking system is not designed for unweaned calves, the ceiling height is too low, and the loading density is too high. The truck is carrying 47 animals more than allowed.

The ITD inspectors start their proceedings to issue monetary fines on the transporters carrying animals with the breach of transport regulation 1/2005. The veterinary authority is also informed about the investigation findings.