An investigation conducted by an Australian animals rights charity, Animals International, has revealed that live exported animals from European Union (EU) countries have been facing severe abuse. Undercover videos show EU cattle and sheep being beaten, given electric shocks, and inhumanely slaughtered at destinations in Turkey and Middle East. These actions clearly breach EU laws for treatment and keeping of livestock. European legislation states that exported animals must be given a certain standard of care throughout their entire journey, and animal handlers are directed to perform their job without using methods that may instill unnecessary fear or suffering in the animals. However, European legislation only covers the animals until they are delivered to their final destinations. Essentially, there are no rules governing the end of the animals’ lives. The Animals International investigation tracked livestock exported from the EU to destinations in Croatia and six Middle Eastern nations. As Luke Dale-Harris reported in the Guardian, “The footage shows cattle and sheep from France, Romania and Lithuania kicking and flailing violently as their throats are crudely cut or sawed at repeatedly, often in crowded street markets and run-down abattoirs.”
There have been many attempts by animal rights activists to stop the unlawful treatment of exported livestock. In 2011, a temporary ban and new regulations were imposed when people discovered the poor treatment of animals sent to Indonesia. However, lack of enforcement of those regulations means that little has changed.
Source: Luke Dale-Harris, “Revealed: Exported EU Animals Subject to Abuse and Illegal Conditions,” Guardian, March 1, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/01/revealed-exported-eu-animals-subject-to-abuse-illegal-conditions.
Student Researcher: Jade Spagnuolo (Indian River State College)
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)