The doomed journey

900,000 sheep, 850,000 cattle and 5,000 goats were exported from the EU to Turkey in the period from 2010 to 2015. For 2016 the EU expects a further increase of the exports. Tierschutzbund Zürich and the Animal Welfare Foundation (Germany) and Eyes on Animals (Netherlands) have conducted animal transport inspections at the Turkish border crossing Kapikule during this period. The result of this first long-term study describes serious shortcomings. 70 % of the inspected animal transporters are in breach of EU animal transport regulation 1/2005. The EU stands by inactive while the Member States approve this systematic animal abuse.

The results of animal transport inspections at the Turkish border in Kapikule are summarized in a 1000-page document. A total of 352 animal transporters were inspected, 247 of which were found to have committed one or several infringements against EU animal transport regulations. These are no random incidents of individual transport companies, but rather systematic violations. None of the 13 EU countries from which the animals come has a clean record, the EU is aware of this serious problem but simply watches on as Member States follow the political will of their governments to free their internal markets of surplus animals.

After an export increase of 39 % in 2015 over 2014, the EU expects for 2016 a further increase of animal exports to Turkey. Our five-year-investigation gives no evidence that any concrete measures have been taken to create an infrastructure for this trade. Thus, for example, there are no stables for unloading and feeding the animals. After crossing the border, the EU does not have the competence to check the animal trucks and to sanction violators in the case of infractions. The EU sits on the side-line as if completely powerless, but in reality the EU could stop this trade.

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