Today our team from Eyes on Animals, Animal Welfare Foundation (DE) and Welfarm Foundation (HU) continued to visit Hungarian assembly stations officially approved to dispatch animals for export to Turkey. We visited one of the largest stations today, owned by Agrarcoop. Our reason for chosing this station is because we have observed many Agrarcoop trucks at the Turkish borders that have been problematic- with exhausted and dehydrated cattle on board, empty water tanks, absence of ventilators, and inadequate and dirty bedding. Despite having sent a report of our concerns, we had not heard back from the company. Today we were seeking personal contact with the owner to see how improvements could be made.
Roughly 4000 young bulls and calves are housed at this station, which is used as an export center but also fattening farm. Sadly, some of the young calves are raised in individual crates where they cannot see or touch each other, nor adequately move. We were surprised as these crates are illegal now throughout the EU. We were told that Agrarcoop is going to phase these crates out by 2013.
Another barn however had pens that were dirty and had slippery floors, causing some bulls to fall. We spoke to the owner and proposed that we send our report with recommended suggestions on how to improve welfare on his farm and during transport. We also agreed that an extra training of his drivers this spring would be desirable, particularly before the summer heat waves begin at the Turkish border. He was open to the suggestions. We look forward to an open and cooperative relationship to get concrete improvements quickly for the animals. We will remain in contact with Agrarcoop.