The charity, Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) fears for the fate of small Scottish calves exported to Spain, as reported on The Express.The animals are sent to the Iberian Peninsula to be fattened, before being shipped to countries in the Maghreb and the Near and Middle East, such as Algeria, Libya or Lebanon. In addition to the inhuman and cruel living conditions during transport, calves are at risk of being slaughtered in a great deal of suffering, as the companies responsible for slaughtering don't need to be held to European standards.
According to the Scottish government, 5199 unweaned calves are sent to Spain each year, facing up to 135 hours in a lorry. The UK government wants to end the practice withenvironment secretary Michael Gove considering a ban on live exports.Unfortunately, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has confirmed they would oppose any such ban as it would be 'economically damaging' for Scottish farmers.
Nick Palmer, head of policy at CiWF, said:
Live animal transport is a very small proportion of Scottish agriculture and we are puzzled Holyrood (location of the Scottish parliament) ministers are dragging their heels.
He pointed out that Scotland had a reputation as an animal-friendly nation with a tradition of good animal welfare, fearing that such an attitude risks damaging that reputation.Exports of live animals are thought to be worth more than £50million to the Scottish economy each year. But the vast majority are taken to the other parts of the UK for slaughter, breeding or fattening.
Source: Tierschutzbund Zürich
CiWF states that it is not opposed to the transport of animals in the United Kingdom. But for Nick Palmer, moving animals across these borders is "unacceptable":
It is our position that this cruel practice is unnecessary and unwarranted. There is no economic argument to back it up.
The Scottish Government reaffirms that the transport of animals to continental Europe is currently non-existent in 2018. It also ensures that transport within the English market is strictly regulated and complies with European Union standards and regulations.
H/t: The Express