Transport of animals

This is an everyday sight on the roads. When we pass them I try not to think.

On many of the world’s roads, the constant movement of animal transports is a common sight, occurring every hour of every day. The majority of these animals are headed in one direction, with no return journey in their future; their final destination lies in the slaughterhouse.

However, for most people, the reality of such a journey remains hidden, obscured by the walls of the transport trucks. All we catch glimpses of are tangible fragments of their lives — a tail, an ear, or a peering eye. We may exchange fleeting glances when we find ourselves waiting at a red light, or we may deliberately look away to avoid confronting the truth.

The duration of these animal transports can vary significantly, spanning from just a few hours when destined for slaughter to several days when the animals are being transported for purposes such as breeding, fattening, or further breeding.

Indeed, the reality is far from resembling first-class travel for these animals. They endure exposure to fluctuating weather conditions, including sweltering heat without access to water and torrential rains that flood the containers in poultry transports. The trucks carrying pigs are often overloaded, forcing them to coexist in cramped quarters with unfamiliar pigs from different herds, resulting in heightened aggression and numerous injuries. Consequently, when these pigs reach their destination, they are often covered in painful bleeding wounds.

Cows, tied by their horns and mixed with bulls, face a difficult struggle for survival during the long transport. Perhaps the most poignant scenes occur during the transport of calves and lambs, where the peace of the night is disturbed by the screams of these young animals destined for slaughter. Transporters, driven by time and quantity, often put their own goals above the welfare of the animals. The act of transporting animals evokes one dominant sentiment in me and a association from the past.