24. July 2019

Poland, Slovenia, Israel | Transport of calves from Lithuania

Our team and investigators from our partner organisation, Israel Against Live Shipments (IALS), gather evidence of severe suffering of animals during long-distance transport from Lithuania to Israel. The documentation covers two long weeks of transport.

Our team is in Poland to control the transport of calves. We want to verify the compliance of the animal transports with the EU regulation (EC) 1/2005.

During the inspection, we discover horrible conditions: A lot of animals have heat stress symptoms and are breathing heavily. The trucks are overcrowded for such hot weather conditions and the animals are trampling on each other, and some are even too exhausted to move. The others are desperately looking for water, licking the metal bars of the transporter or even the urine of an animal next to them. The stronger ones are mooing loudly. All calves are covered with excrements. Three of them have already died, before even making half of the journey. Without our intervention, several more calves would have died before reaching their destination. These calves were destined to Israel. They were sent on a journey of 1,700 km by road, confined in the truck for 29 hours, in temperatures exceeding 30°C.

The veterinary inspectors order to unload the animals and allow them to rest for at least 24 hours. During the unloading, we can see the real scale of the problem and the unimaginable suffering of these young animals. They are so exhausted that they need a lot of time to get up, some cannot move without help. Their legs shiver and they slip and fall on the floor which is covered in excrements. The youngest calf is barely over two months old. Just two hours after the unloading, the calves have already drunk 2,000 liters of water.

After 24 hours of rest ordered by Veterinary Inspection, the transport continues to Port of Slovenia. IALS team is waiting there and sees weak and exhausted calves. Then, they are loaded on a vessel, where they will be transported for several days by sea to Israel. 

After arrival at Israel Shipyards located in Haifa, the journey of these animals is not over yet. Our investigators from IALS find “our” calves, besides many others, loaded on small trucks and carried further on to quarantine stables. During this stage of transport, the temperature measured inside the trucks exceeds 37 degrees Celsius. After a couple of days, IALS team visits Lithuanian calves at the quarantine stables and discovers several terribly sick and weak animals. The calves will be kept in quarantine for a month due to local potential illnesses in the area before they are sent to fattening farms.

Help us to stop torturous transports and send our teams to act!