23. July 2018

Turkey| Kapikule| Inspection of animal transports to Turkey

Dead buffalo died on a transporter at the Turkey border.

Dead bull on a transporter at the border.

During the weekend the temperatures are rising up to 37 degrees Celsius. Our team colleagues from the Bulgarian side are reporting one animal transporter after another entering the border. As a result, we are busy inspecting about 70 transports during these 3 days. Most of the animals are coming from Slovakia and Czech Republic, but also from Hungary. We also see pregnant heifers from Germany. The officials of these Member States obviously ignored the requirements of Regulation (EC) 1/2005 and the warning letters of the EU Commission to not send animals when the weather forecast exceeds 30 degrees Celsius. Drivers are stressed about the unsatisfying conditions for the animals at the only control post in Bulgaria, and about the long waiting times to cross the border. Our teams are confronted with aggressive behaviour of certain drivers, unmet so far.  On Saturday night, one of our teams enters the border area and finds one truck with cattle and another one with water buffalos from Slovakia parked inside the border for almost 24 hours already, due to import problems. One of the buffalos is already dead. The buffalos were kept inside the border for three days until they finally could enter Turkey and be unloaded for a few hours to receive water. It is unacceptable that after so many years there are still no contingency plans on both sides of the border to deal with problems and to find quick solutions to unload the animals, while solutions for problems are sought. Our teams will write legal complaints to the EU Commission, EU Parliament and to the responsible Member States.