Today a team of inspectors from Eyes on Animals and AWF|TBS arrived in Instanbul (Turkey) and drove to Kapikule, at the Bulgarian/Turkish border. We are going to inspect livestock trucks bringing in animals from the EU to Turkey. While driving along the highway from Istanbul to Kapikule we observed 22 EU-platted livestock trucks passing us in the other direction, all coming from the border. After arriving at the border we found 6 trucks, 2 Bulgarian and 4 from Poland, parked on the Turkish side waiting for their custom papers.
On board were pregnant heifers and fattening calves. Some animals had been unloaded in the small outdoor pens near a Petline gas station. But because these outdoor pens are small and cannot hold many animals, the others were all left on the truck. One Polish truck with slaughterbulls from Hungary on board had a dead animal on board. The carcass was bloated and already smelling of decomposition. Another Polish truck with slaughterbulls on board was in a filthy state: the thirsty bulls were even drinking the accumulated liquid formed in their dirty bedding, literally their own urine and feces.
Despite the temperatures reaching high 30’s, we observed 28 EU livestock trucks drive past the border and head deeper into Turkey towards fattening farms and slaughterhouses.