Today teams of Eyes on Animals, Animal Welfare Foundation(DE) and Welfarm Foundation (HU) joined forces and made unannounced visits to three EU-certified assembly stations in Hungary. One improvement we managed to achieve in our efforts to decrease the suffering of Hungarian animals during long/distance transport to Turkey, is that transporters may only now load animals at assembly stations here, where there is a veterinarian and where the animals are first watered, fed and rested. The first one we visited was Feteke Sándor in Bugyi, an assembly station for cattle and sheep. The facility was good; a lot of space, clean and there was a roof to protect the animals against the sun and rain. They told us that a veterinarian is now always present when a truck loads animals for Turkey. Most of the time this collecting station is used by the Hungarian transport company “Hunland”, run by a Dutchman. Surprisingly however, the stall was completely empty today.
The second place we visited was MAM 3 Ktf in Apaj. This collecting station is only used for sheep and lambs. Also here we were treated very politely and received a tour. The facility looked very good- conditions were clean, well built, with a roof to protect the animals and give them shade. There was an older stable also on the premise. Inside were lambs that could not fit on an earlier truck – they were selected to stay behind because they were skinny. The lambs were very well taken care of; they received lots of bedding, fresh air and shade, hay but also special pelleted sheep feed and long troughs full of of fresh water. We are told that a veterinarian is also always present during the loading of animals for export. The third place we tried to visit was called Bozsó László in Lajosmizse, a collecting station for cattle, sheep and pigs. Unfortunately we did not get permission to visit this station. We find it very unfortunate that the owner was not willing to be open and cooperative and hope that he will change his mind in the near future.
We will send a report of all of our findings to the owners of the assembly stations, the EU and the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary.