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Transport of live cattle - What will YOU have for Christmas Dinner?

Have you ever wondered where the roast lamb on your Christmas table comes from?

From a Mallorcan sheep, of course, since the label says, "local meat".
But are you really sure that this sheep was born in Mallorca, walked about Mallorcan fields and found its predetermined destiny in Mallorca?
Or was it maybe an "oferta", a special offer, which made you decide to enjoy roast lamb at Christmas this year?

Have you ever been on a bus tour to go abroad? Maybe from Germany to Italy or similar.  Weren’t you really relieved when you reached your final destination although you enjoyed the luxuries of comfort stops and refreshments,air conditioning and entertainment?

Imagine making that trip standing up, since overcrowding makes sitting impossible. Imagine the air conditioning breaking down. You decide whether the result is freezing cold or blistering heat. And hunger pains are gnawing at your stomach,and your throat is burning with thirst, but there are no service staff to take your order. The bus finally halts after an agonizingly long journey and you push towards the exit to get some fresh air and to complain. Someone is awaiting you there and without hesitation they hit you right in the face and you are not allowed to proceed. Fear starts creeping up inside you when the bus recommences its journey and this journey seems never-ending. Not only do hunger, thirst and claustrophobia tear you apart, but you become panic-stricken when the first amongst your fellow passengers start dropping down.
You are able to visualize the situation? Excellent,- now you know how your Christmas roast felt.

Calves from Austria to Spain (minimum duration 30 hours), sheep from Spain to Greece (minimum duration 5 days), horses from Eastern Europe to Belgium (minimum duration one week), cattle from Northern Germany to Lebanon (minimum duration 8 days), living animals from Australia to Egypt (minimum duration 3 weeks), from Canada to Hawaii, from Namibia to South Africa, from Brazil to the Middle East...

On this occasion I would like to inform you about "label falsification" and about the incredible conditions during the transport of live cattle.
For 120 years it has been possible to transport frozen meat over very long distances. The reason why millions of sheep, cattle, horses, pigs and chickens have to got through horrible suffering until they are finally permitted to die, is due to market-related economic interests. We want to buy cheap meat, so cheap meat is produced and provided. Companies specialize, abattoirs are centralised. A farmer who uses his own transporter to drive his cattle to the local butcher in a nearby village is a relict of the past. Only advertising still uses this image with the aim of alleviating our guilty consciences.. Meat production is carried out quite differently nowadays. The different stages of livestock-keeping, breeding,raising, mast and slaughter occur in the places where it is cheapest to do so. That means an animal may in its lifetime be transported over long distances on several occasions. The last trip, the one to the abattoir is usually the longest one, since animals are transported to the locality where the highest profits can be achieved. We have to realize that, in the nowadays commonly used industrialized mass production of meat, profits as small as a few Eurocents matter. As far as Europe is concerned – owing to the considerable price difference between Eastern and Western European countries ( low purchase prices in the East, high selling prices in the West) – the transport of live cattle for slaughter leads to higher profits than the rather complex transportation of deep-frozen meat.

And when the poor creature is finally dead, at the end of hundreds or thousands of kilometres of transport, after endless torture and agony? The selling label in the country where the cattle is slaughtered will say: Local meat! That´s how marketing works.

I do not blame those people who have to kick, push and use electric shocks in order to make the cattle move onto the already crowded loading area. I do not even blame those who take even more drastic measures to comply with a stipulated time schedule, such as the practice of poking cattle in the eyes in order to make them creep forward even when their legs are broken. (I'm not even going to mention methods for unloading the weak and those severely hurt...). It’s not the slaughtermen's fault either, who do not fully comply with the stunning regulations, wading in blood up to their knees, working piece-rate.

I plead to the Christmas roast-eating consumer who apparently does not feel guilty. I ask for more compassion.

I am sure you agree with me that also animals feel joy, pain and suffering.
So how can an Australian saddle of lamb, slaughtered and prepared in Madrid end up on your Christmas dinner table?


If you wan to learn more about that subject:

WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals)
Phone: +49 228/9563455

"Handle with care"
For the abolition of senseless cattle transports (join in!)

Menschen für Tierrechte (Human beings for animal rights)
Phone: +49 241 157 214

Verein Gegen Tierfabriken (Association against animal production plants)
Phone: +43 1/929-14-980

Four Paws – Foundation for the Protection of Animals)
Phone: +49 40 3992490

Deutscher Tierschutzbund eV
(German Association for the Protection of Animals)

Comparison of animal welfare organizations (german)


Here are a some videos for those who wish to know more: