‘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

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

The one word doing the greatest harm of all to animal welfare

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Leather jackets and bags aren’t necessary but nobody’s perfect

I HAVE a friend who recently gave up all animal products, including consuming dairy and eggs and wearing leather, after watching the Cowspiracy film and reading about how these products support the entrenched cruelty of modern factory farming.

She had long before that been vegetarian, but had shied away from making the leap to being vegan because she had an enormous fondness of and nostalgia about a much-loved “cool” leather jacket and a favourite pair of well broken-in leather shoes. Given that my friend wasn’t going to ditch these possessions, surely, she reasoned, adopting a vegan diet would make her a huge hypocrite. 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 ‘fuelling illegal animal slaughter horror in Gaza’

First published on May 12 2015 on The News Hub


Exclusive: European cattle sent to ‘hellholes of suffering’ to be killed by cruel no-stun methods outlawed at home, investigators find

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Cattle are sent from Romania in an unofficial trade. Image: Razvan Antonescu

ANIMALS born and reared in Europe are being slaughtered in Gaza 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 then bleed to death slowly and in agony.

Observers from British charity Compassion in World Farming tracked cattle from Hungary, Romania and other Eastern European countries that were 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 and in conditions that would be illegal in Europe. Continue reading