17. April 2019

Slovenia, Italy | Transport of lambs

Italian police stopping a Hungarian truck with lambs.

Young lamb desperately trying to drink from metal nipple

Insufficient headspace – lambs touching the ceiling with their heads.

Unfit animal who cannot be assisted due to the lack of access doors.

Every year before Easter, Italy imports tens of thousands of lambs for slaughter, mainly from Romania and Hungary. AWF|TSB teams check on the transport conditions, supported by the Italian animal welfare organisation ENPA. We inspect a total of eleven trucks, three of them together with the Italian police. All three are in breach of the EU animal transport regulation and receive monetary fines. The detected violations are overcrowding, lack of headspace, drinkers that were not accessible for the animals, broken water system and incorrectly filled out papers. Furthermore, one driver is not licensed for transporting live animals. We observe that the unweaned lambs and even the older ones do not know how to use the metal drinking nipples, which are designed for pigs. In a truck from Romania, a lamb is lying on the floor, breathing heavily and unable to stand up. However, due to the lack of access doors, the animal cannot be assisted and has to continue the journey to the slaughterhouse. A Hungarian truck we check with the police was already inspected by our teams in 2018, 2017 and 2016, and once again we detect the same violations. With the help of our Italian lawyers, we will continue to make pressure on the involved transporters, the responsible veterinarians and the slaughterhouses.