Today we were invited to a meeting in Brussels with Bulgarian and Hungarian officials and Livestock Traders and Transport Union to discuss the latest situation for animals at the EU/Turkey border. The Hungarian official informed us that they have taken action based on our reports- from now on only cattle from registered assembly stations may be dispatched for transport to Turkey and a veterinarian supervises the moment of loading. As well, authorities from the importing country (Turkey) will be representative at these assembly stations. Extra checks will be made of the transport papers and health certificate and a special sticker placed to guarantee that there is no fraud. Copies of these papers are scanned and sent to Turkey, so there is no chance for transporters to fiddle with the facts midway through the journey. The Hungarian authorities are now also regularly in contact with the Turkish veterinarian authorities to ease communication.
The Bulgarian official informed us of the measures they took since our complaints came in: they have had additional trainings of veterinarian inspectors, on-spot checks of livestock trucks on the road, and the amount of the monetary penalties have been greatly increased (by 20-40 times higher). As well, all trucks arriving at the border that have carried animals the maximum period allowed, or that do not satisfy the legal requirements, are being sent to the new Bulgarian control post, Royal Haskovo, so that the animals can be unloaded, rested and fed.
The people from the Union of Transporters and Livestock Traders are going to write up a list clearly stating the import requirements of Turkey, so that there are less paper problems at the border creating delays lasting days for the animals. They will regularly update this list and put a lot of effort in making sure that all their members are aware of the rules before loading animals.