The cruelty of animal transports | DW Documentary

Every year, thousands of cattle are exported to countries outside the EU. It’s often a harrowing ordeal. Activists from the Animal Welfare Foundation argue that conditions in these transports breach European law.

Two trucks leave a collection point at Smolensk, Russia, near the Belarus border. It’s a freezing cold winter morning. Each truck has 30 heavily pregnant cattle from Germany on board. The cows are to be part of a breeding program at their destination, Uzbekistan, which is more than 4000 kilometers away. Unbeknownst to the drivers, these trucks are being tracked by activists from the German organization Animals’ Angels. Helena Bauer and her fellow campaigners are experts in this type of operation. They follow the trucks for several days and witness them driving past the designated food and water stations. By the time the trucks reach their destination, the animals are completely exhausted and covered in their own waste.

Together with animal rights activists, filmmaker Edgar Verheyen documents the conditions on these animal transports in Asia, North Africa and Europe. He also confronts politicians and authorities in the industry with his findings. How is it that haulers and cattle dealers are being allowed to break the law without consequence?


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