Poland | Highway Poland-Italy | Transport of lambs
We follow a long-distance transport of lambs from a sale in southern Poland to a slaughterhouse in Italy. The truck carries 700 lambs and is loaded on four decks. The headspace is insufficient and several of the taller animals touch the ceiling with their heads. The lambs are of different sizes and ages. We assume that at least part of them are unweaned and still on a milk diet. Throughout the transport, we see thirsty animals licking the trailer walls and bars. The lambs are bleating loudly without stopping. The drivers make several breaks during transport and turn on the water, but the lambs are clueless about how to use the metal drinking nipples. Moreover, the animals on the highest deck have great difficulties to access the drinking devices due to poor construction. The transport vehicle is obviously inappropriate for the transport of lambs. In addition to the unsuitable drinking devices, the vehicle holds a high risk of injuries. During the journey, we detect three lambs whose legs are stuck between the floor and the sidewall of the trailer.
In the course of the transport, a few lambs figure out how to drink water from the metal drinking nipples, especially older ones with longer horns. However, most lambs make absolutely no attempts to use the drinking devices, others try but without success. We show the animals how the drinking nipples work, but they do not understand and lick up the water which is dripping down.
Upon arrival at the slaughterhouse near Perugia the next day, the animals have been on board for more than 25 hours, many without drinking. They have been transported over a distance of 1’500 km. The maximum permitted transport time for young lambs which are unweaned is 19 hours according to the EU animal transport regulation.