Shocking news. Today our team that had been busy inspecting slaughterhouses in Turkey, drove quickly up to the Turkish/EU border for 1.5 days to get an impression of the latest situation at this border for live animals. The team was accompanied by French journalists. Now that the EU and its Member States have felt the pressure to finally enforce maximum live-animal transport times, the cattle destined for further fattening are being unloaded at a newly-built “livestock market” on the Turkish side of the border and this is considered their final destination. The animals exit the EU trucks and the EU trucks head back to Europe, declaring the journey over. But in reality, the cattle are unloaded just for 1- 3 hours to be sold to farmers from all over Turkey, who then load them in very old trucks, most not even built for live animals but just for any product and certainly without a water or ventilation system, and then continue to transport them.
The EU maximum journey times are thus not being respected, although according to EC 1/2005 this market cannot be considered as a destination because the animals are not given a 48hr break with food and water and stall. Our team trailed one of the trucks carrying European cattle and it was destined for a fattening farm in Kırşehir, another 900km away (circa 14 hours). We will report on this to the authorities and industry stakeholders and the story will be broadcasted soon on French television.