LAST UPDATED: 6 September 2017
Last year we exposed perhaps one of the saddest aspects of the global live export trade — the shipping of very young calves from Romania to Israel. As our investigations revealed, these defenceless and frightened calves suffered every step of the way.
These baby animals were given a reprieve.
Israel announced a temporary freeze on all live animal imports from Romania — calves and sheep. This means 170,000 Romanian animals were spared this treacherous journey and cruellest of fates.
There are various pressure points at play that have led to this decision by Israel to suspend live animal imports from Romania. The Israeli government has been under sustained and intense pressure — from our friends at Anonymous for Animal Rights, Let the Animals Live and Israel Against Live Shipments who have been working tirelessly for animals in Israel, and from our bold public ad campaign, which confronted politicians at every turn with the face of a defenceless Romanian calf.
There is also a landmark court case underway in Israel challenging the unnecessary suffering of animals during live export. The case to stop the import of live animals from Australia could not be stronger and this decision to freeze trade from Romania is, we believe, the strongest signal yet that Israeli authorities are recognising the wrongs of this industry.
When we exposed the tragic end for Romanian animals exported to the Middle East — where they were beaten, tormented, and suffered a slow and painful death — there was a global outpouring of grief. 70,000 people across the world signed the petition to stop the death ships.
And within Romania we saw an outcry like never before — with thousands of Romanians emailing their local politicians calling for an end to live export. Now, in response to Israel’s decision, Romanian authorities are openly discussing trade options that don’t involve exporting live animals.
We're still lobbying to end live animal exports from Romania to all countries, for good. And we are seeing clear proof that when we unite on behalf of animals, when we are persistent and unwavering in our resolve, authorities have no choice but to take notice.