Activists from the Eyes on Animals and French L214 groups who revealed the 'horrific' abuse said the young animals were already exhausted and thirsty from journeys of over 18 hours.
JANE DALTON: ‘Veal calves from Ireland were beaten, hit in the face and jumped on by workers at a resting post for live exports in France, secret footage has revealed. Some were kicked and hit so hard they collapsed in the shocking scenes filmed during an investigation into the treatment of live exports. It is the first time such brutal and illegal violence towards animals sent to Europe has been caught by hidden cameras. Ireland has increased the number of calves it sends to the EU – which now stands at 160,000 a year – and it plans to increase them further.
The footage reveals a worker at the centre near Cherbourg casually beating calves on their faces with a rod, then forcefully hitting one facing a different way. Many animals – unweaned and still needing their mothers’ milk – are grabbed by the ears and dragged to the feeders. As the animals drink, the worker needlessly hits them on their backs. When one tries to muscle its way in between others, the worker hauls it away and slams it to the ground. Another is roughly pulled off a feeder, beaten and violently shoved back again.
But the most horrific scenes are of the worker jumping and stamping on a calf. Another animal is so badly injured that it was filmed dragging itself along by just its front legs. Later, as it lay helpless, he was kicked by a worker… Activists from the Eyes on Animals and French L214 groups who revealed the “horrific” abuse said the young animals were already exhausted and thirsty from journeys of over 18 hours from Rosslare to Cherbourg when they were unloaded near Tollevast. French media have reported that a man has been arrested for cruelty.
At least 2,500 calves are unloaded at the centre every 12 hours before being reloaded for journeys to Dutch veal farms, activists say. The witnesses, who followed 23 lorry-loads of animals last month, said calves were routinely transported over the maximum journey time of 19 hours, on lorries with inadequate drinking systems. A report by investigators said the handling of the calves was “violent and shocking” and that neither other workers nor the manager intervened’. SOURCE…