On January 21st 2015 a Danish-platted livestock- truck with 420 pigs on board tipped over on the highway in northern Germany. The truck was one of these “newer” models: completely closed sides with automatic ventilation. There were no proper access doors on the side or large openings. When the truck tipped over, the automatic ventilation system naturally stopped and inside it was pitch black. The pigs inside were in complete panic and due to the lack of air, began to suffocate. The police had to call in the fire brigade to come as quickly as possible to drill holes in the side of the truc justk to get air to the pigs trapped inside. 150 pigs died. By-standers report that the pigs were really suffering inside.
Accidents involving livestock trucks are always very unfortunate for the drivers and the animals, but in this case, the suffering was even more unbearable because these new models of trucks do not offer any access to them, and make them literally prisoners inside when something goes wrong. Eyes on Animals has for years been warning the Member States that permit the manufacturing of such types of livestock trucks (mainly the Netherlands and Denmark) that this model does not fulfill the EC 1/2005 requirements which state that one must be able to access the animals on board and provide first aid as soon as possible and one must be able to easily inspect the animals on board. We urge the phasing out of these sorts of “closed”trucks as soon as possible. To read our report on the importance of access during transport, click HERE.
To read German newspaper articles about this accident, please see HERE.