Today Eyes on Animals met with a representative from Pezzaioli, a famous Italian company that manufactures livestock vehicles, used throughout Europe and now also in Turkey and Canada. The purpose of the meeting was to show how the design of some of their trailers were causing animal-welfare problems in practice. We noticed that adult cattle have difficulty using some of the Pezzaioli automatic water bowls because the flap door and narrow entrance do not permit an adult bovine to enter with its whole mouth. This is necessary for the bovine to be able to drink adequately. As well, like many other manufacturing companies, the partitions to separate animals into groups on Pezzaioli trucks are not able to be extended right down to the ground when loading only on two levels. As a result, we have seen dozens of cattle become trapped in the gap created underneath. These trapped animals are at risk of being trampled by the other animals on board and are not being able to walk towards the water or feed. The animal suffers from extreme stress because it cannot release itself on its own. We also raised our concern about the fact that more and more livestock trucks are being built without side-access doors. Side-access doors are vital for the driver to be able to manually water the animals, give first- aid immediately to an animal in need and reach in to clean the automatic water bowls. The man from Pezzaioli promised to discuss these issues with his company colleagues, but says in the end, it is what the customers want. Not all customers are willing to pay extra money for these improvements to the design. And as long as Member State authorities continue to give 5-year permits to trailers with design flaws, they have little incentive to convince their clients to change.
We will stay in contact with Pezzaioli and continue motivating them to make these improvements, as well as continue putting pressure on the authorities not to give permits to livestock trucks with design-flaws.