‘Scandalous’: EU ‘turns a blind eye to illegal death trucks in Turkey

Mass suffering and neglect in heatwave exposed by major investigation into live-export trade – and crisis is due to worsen after Ireland signs new deal

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A COW licks at the metal bars of the lorry, desperate for any precious drops of water; behind her, another sits helpless with painful skin sores, too sick and helpless to even stand. Some animals are foaming at the mouth from dehydration and hunger. A heifer shakes from heat exhaustion.

They are among the hundreds of thousands of animals exported each year from Europe and abandoned for days on end in sordid, illegal conditions just inside Turkey.

While the world’s attention is on migrants using Turkey to get into Europe, a five-year investigation has revealed how bureaucracy and neglect at the country’s border leave large numbers of live sheep, cattle and goats suffering in overcrowded lorries parked in soaring heatwave temperatures for a week or more.

European Union chiefs are being accused of turning a blind eye – and British campaigners on both sides of the EU debate claimed the crisis proved their case. Continue reading

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Battle as Yorkshire chicken farm accused of ‘illegal cruelty’ aims to expand

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A typical densely stocked chicken shed

FARMERS running two poultry businesses where evidence was found of widespread suffering and risks to human health are aiming to open a third – giant – chicken farm, prompting angry objections.

Undercover investigators at one unit found birds showing signs of serious welfare problems.

At both businesses, the investigators also saw dead chickens piled up, exposed to the open air, which they said was illegal and posed a hazard to human and wildlife health. Birds were also seen collapsing under their own body weight.

But the bosses of the firm now want to build a third centre, which would rear more than a million-and-a-half birds each year. Continue reading

Luna Lovegood gets mad: Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch acts against live export trade

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Evanna Lynch stands up for farm animals

WHAT would Luna Lovegood make of it? Her Hogwarts classmates would most certainly have raised an eyebrow, being more familiar with dragons, hippogriffs and unicorns than farm animals.

But Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch took a stand for tens of thousands of Europe’s calves, as she launched a campaign against their export to “shocking and brutal” fates.

Miss Lynch – famous for playing the blonde Ravenclaw pupil with “a permanently surprised look” in the wizard-school films – was acting on behalf of the real-life animals sent beyond EU borders and subjected to “horrendously cruel” handling and slaughter. Continue reading

EU accused of endorsing “barbaric, illegal” no-stun slaughter of its own animals

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Sentient and sensitive cattle are being exported across Europe

ANIMALS born and reared in Europe are being exported to Gaza for slaughter in ways so horrific it would be illegal at home, a major investigation has shown.

Tens of thousands of cattle are having their throats slit – as though they were sacks of flour – while fully conscious, according to investigators. The animals, in agony and fighting to remain conscious, then slowly bleed to death.

Observers from British charity Compassion in World Farming tracked cattle from Hungary, Romania and other Eastern European countries that were transported across the continent, only to be killed by “barbaric, inhumane and agonising” no-stun deaths.

The shocking discoveries were at Gazan slaughterhouses, where the killings happened “in utter chaos”, using no-stun methods, often with blunt knives, and in conditions that would be illegal in Europe.

EU officials, who are aware of the practices, are accused of effectively endorsing them, through knowing about it yet failing to intervene. Read full story

Broadcasters are ignoring the elephants disappearing from the room

AS IF we hadn’t already had enough clues from our ever more ridiculous weather, climate change has become a greater threat than ever, as the UN has warned. The world will experience more severe flooding, dangerous heatwaves and violent conflicts over water and food, unless carbon emissions are rapidly cut, it said.

Rising temperatures have already started to raise the frequency of flooding and other extreme weather, but this is only just the start, the IPCC report says.

For years, meanwhile, conservationists have been fighting to raise awareness of extinction and loss of habitat, affecting species from farmland birds to the exotic South China Tiger and Javan rhino. In all, 16 species are on the WWF “critically endangered” list, with dozens more categorised as “endangered” and “vulnerable” – an appalling and shameful legacy of human activity. Continue reading