Poland | Nowy Targ | Live transport: Justice for lambs
Every year before Easter, Italy imports thousands of lambs for slaughter. Our team has been investigating the trade and violations against animal welfare during transport for half a decade. Together with the Polish animal welfare organisation, VIVA, we started a trial in 2018 against the organiser of one of these transports and the official veterinary who approved the journey from Poland to Italy in 2017. The transporter was loaded with unweaned lambs. Since the young animals are still reliant on milk, special regulations apply for their transportation. Unweaned animals are only allowed to be transported for a maximum of 19 hours. The transport regulation also includes a one-hour-break after nine hours. Serious violations during the control of the transport and during follow-up research were found. The permitted transport time was exceeded by 33 hours. The vehicle was overloaded. There was no suitable drinking system for the animals on board, two animals seemed weak. And the handling of the animals in the assembly centres was brutal.
The trial took two years in total. But our endurance is worth it. The defendants were convicted and fined in January 2021. Our lawyer was present at the trial and commented the case on Polish TV: " This is a real warning for the competent authorities and the transport companies that animal rights cannot be ignored."
We are not yet satisfied, since not all violations were punished, and the enforcement was extended to one year. Therefore, our teams will look for further legal actions. Because every judgment against animal cruelty during transports brings us closer to our goal of ending the trade with live animals forever one day.