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  RSPCA calls for animal transport shake-up
Updated 14 May 2003, 17.26
Calves can be on board a vehicle for 21 hours
The RSPCA has called for stricter laws on the ways animals are transported after taking secret footage of what it called "unacceptable suffering".

Inspectors from the animal charity went undercover to film a number of livestock journeys across Europe.

In one case, they followed a load of 360 sheep on a 10-day trip from Spain to Greece.

They witnessed the lorry being parked in sweltering temperatures - and by the end of the journey, 50 of the animals were dead.

Up to 10 million farm animals are moved across Europe on lorries every week.

Broken rules

The RSPCA says animals are suffering on board lorrries

At the moment, calves and lambs can be on board a vehicle for 21 hours without a break. For adult animals, it's even longer.

But the rules are often broken.

The RSPCA wants there to be an eight-hour journey limit, with longer rest breaks.

It is also calling for better conditions on board the lorries.

Disregard for animal welfare

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "Our undercover officers have witnessed blatant disregard for transport laws and the welfare of animals.

"What is the point of moving livestock, often across several countries, just to slaughter them at the end of the journey?"

Some countries say they prefer to slaughter the animals themselves because they have different ways of preparing the meat.

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