22. June 2020

Spain | Catalonia | Export of calves: Dying calf on fattening farm

We detect a dying calf that is left without medical assistance on the fattening farm.

Our team is investigating fattening farms in the Spanish region of Lleida. This is also where unweaned calves from Germany are transported. After six to ten months of fattening, these calves are exported to countries outside European Union by sea. 

On the first investigation day we spot a calf outside the fattening farm pen. The calf is lying in the blistering sun. It has a filthy coat, it's spine is very visible and it is gasping for oxygen. The young animal cannot be helped. It is dying. After we ask the owner about the suffering calf, he tells us that he separated the calf out to die. We ask him to emergency kill the suffering animal, but he has no understanding for our request and even seems amused by it. We cannot accept the prolonged suffering of the calf and inform the police.

Meanwhile, the owner, scared of the police, asked his veterinarian to come and euthanise the calf. When the police arrives together with an official veterinarian, the poor animal is already dead. We could end to the suffering of this calf, but unfortunately the owner will not face legal sanctions.