31. December 2022

Successful closure for our projects in Poland

A decade working for the animals: Bogdan, Anna, Nadja, Michal. Vorne Magda, Katarzyna.

Loading of horses for the transport to Italian slaughterhouses.

We documented severe animal welfare violations.

When it came to injured animals we always cooperated with veterinarians.

It was an act of strength, a continuous commitment for the animals. When we started we could not foresee how long it would take. We started the first of our projects in Poland more than a decade ago: inspection of the horse market in Bodzentyn in the South of Warsaw in a poor region with around 20,000 animal husbandries. Almost every house had a stable. In it: cows, horses, goats, pigs, chickens. Sometimes more animals sometimes less.

The farmers brought up to 1,000 horses to the market in Bodzentyn every week. There they sold their horses e.g. to butchers. Every Monday there were three, sometimes more, long-distance livestock transporters on the market. Over the years, thousands of horses have been sold to Southern Italian slaughterhouses every week.

Saturday was always the cattle market. Bad conditions here too. The cattle market inspections also became a project. The market just gave a glimpse into the actual problems. Here we saw the animals only for a few hours. Their often poor condition was an indication that life aside the market had to be torturous. That is why we started the "Mobile Clinic" (Farm Animal Service, FAS). This way we got access to the farms to improve the lives of the animals. But there was almost no farm without dogs, cats, pigeons, etc. The consequence was that an aid programme was needed for these animals too.

This was a huge task. We owe the fact that we were able to manage these projects, and now bring them to a good conclusion to the Eleonora Susanna Foundation for nature, environmental and animal protection. The foundation has borne the project costs from the beginning and over several years. But also the König Baudouin Foundation, which has made it possible to motivate animal owners to take the initiative to carry out castrations at scale with the help of an incentive programme.

Our team was working for the animals every day. They traveled around 300,000 kilometers with our mobile clinic. That corresponds to about seven orbits of the earth. The horse market in Bodzentyn has finally closed. Horses are no longer sold at the market in Skaryszew. Long-distance transports to Italy have ended. The cattle market has turned into a mini market with only a few animals left. It will most likely also be closed in the near future. To accomplish this, our team has filed nearly 200 animal cruelty complaints and fought 13 lawsuits, of which we have won 12.

With the mobile clinic, we visited 400 farms several times a year. Our farriers treated more than 10,000 hooves and claws. New stables with boxes and paddocks were built. Pastures were fenced in. Sick animals were treated and emergency transports to the clinic were carried out.

Over 7,000 dogs and cats have been neutered. Hundreds of animals have been placed in better homes and difficult cases have been placed in responsible dog shelters. They remain in our care until death. Just like a few horses for whom there was no other way than to save them.

Dear Anna, dear Bogdan, dear Nadja and dear Michal, you did a fantastic job. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for always being there for the animals. For never letting yourselves be discouraged and for literally not stopping at mountains of dung to get the animals out of the dirty, stinking stables. Thank you.

Dear Magda and Katarzyna, your support and organization of the Poland projects made them a success. You held the reins at every difficult time. Thank you. It is fantastic that you will continue to take care of inspecting live transports for running police trainings in Poland in the future.

We ended these projects after more than ten years. With success. As a foreign animal welfare organisation, we cannot achieve more regionally. 

The living conditions for the animals on the farms have improved massively. There are far fewer animal husbandries than at the beginning ten years ago. And the feedback from the farmers on the completion of the projects shows us that it is right thing to bundle our strengths even more in other projects such as live transports.

With your support we would like to be able to say again one day: animal welfare project closed due to success!