The Portuguese Animals' rights organization PATAV, which aims to end the transportation of live animals, released on Wednesday footage showing severe abuse and neglect of livestock on a shipment from Portugal to Israel.
In the documentation captured last year by members of the organization, dozens of animals can be seen crammed in small spaces without any ability to move, with no food or water. Some animals can be seen injured, sick and covered in feces.
Following the release of the footage, the Israeli organization “Israel Against Live Shipments” - which also documented the animals upon their arrival in Israel - announced it will appeal to the Agriculture Ministry, demanding the ministry completely halt any live shipments from Portugal.
“The whole world is waking up to the war on this violent and dangerous trade and we are determined to lead global legislation against this industry,” the organization's appeal to the Agriculture Ministry read. “It is important to note that along with the inconceivable cruelty to animals, this trade is life-threatening: we know for a fact that at least one disease, bovine tuberculosis, has already found its way to Israel from Portugal due to irresponsible shipments that disregard both animal welfare and human health."
In response to the footage, the Agriculture Ministry said it takes such animal cruelty very seriously and acts to prevent such cases from occurring using measures such as revocation of importation licenses and import bans from certain providers and even countries.
The meat industry imports hundreds of thousands of calves and lambs to Israel by sea each year; mainly from Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, France, Serbia and Australia
A total of 691,327 animals arrived in Israel in live shipments in 2019 and 419,162 calves and lambs arrived in Israel between January and August 2020.
Portugal has seen a 12% increase in the exportation of livestock in the passing year, climbing from 233,256 animals in 2019 to 262,741 in 2020.