‘Animals Are Not Freight – Day of Global Action’: 11 Ways You Can Help

On 29 August, caring people around the world will participate in Animals Are Not Freight – Day of Global Action, a worldwide day of action against all forms of live-animal transport.

Every week, more than a billion live animals are transported worldwide over long distances, through blazing heat and freezing cold, often without food, water, or veterinary care – as if they were nothing more than freight. Their gruelling journeys frequently end at an abattoir, where they face a terrifying death. Others end up on pet shop shelves or in laboratory cages.

The best way to help animals is never to buy them or their body parts for any reason, but we can also help reduce their suffering by taking action now to improve their transport conditions. Here are 11 actions you can take:

1. Write a letter to your local paper about chickens transported for food.

Let people know that chickens are rounded up by workers who grab them by the legs and sling them into crates for transport, sometimes breaking their fragile bones. They are often deprived of food and water, and the journey to the abattoir may be up to 12 hours long, through all weather conditions.

2. Ask the Irish government to end live exports.

Ireland recently struck a new deal which will see thousands of cows being forced to make long, gruelling journeys to Turkey, sometimes in temperatures of up to 41.5 degrees. Exhaustion, dehydration, and death during these journeys are common. Contact Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to let him know that live-export is incompatible with animal welfare and that it must come to an end. Take action.

3. Tell Air France officials that you won’t fly with the airline until it stops shipping live monkeys.

The airline continues to ship monkeys to laboratories to be tormented in experiments, even though every other major airline in the world refuses to do so. The monkeys are bred in captivity on squalid factory farms or torn away from their homes and families in the wild before being crammed into tiny wooden crates and loaded into the cargo holds of both cargo and passenger planes. You can help.

4. Hold a vigil or remembrance service for pigs transported for food and invite members of the media to attend.

Terrified pigs bound for an abattoir are forced into barren metal lorries and often packed so tight they can barely lie down. They are then driven in all weather conditions, sometimes without adequate access to food or water, before finally reaching their deadly destination. This frightening journey can sometimes last for days.

5. Urge Australia to end cruel live sheep exports.

Australia sends more than 2 million live sheep to the Middle East every year – a gruelling trip across the Indian Ocean in the searing heat, sometimes taking weeks. More than 200 million animals have been crammed onto filthy cargo ships over the last 30 years, and more than 2.5 million of them have been trampled to death or have died of dehydration, starvation, or disease. Please sign.

6. Meet with your MP to discuss the way cows are transported for slaughter.

They are crammed onto lorries and ships for journeys that can be 1,500 miles long. Many collapse in hot weather or freeze in sub-zero temperatures. Cows who are too lame to walk when they reach the abattoir are often dragged to their deaths by ropes or chains.

7. Don’t buy betta fish.

A PETA US investigation revealed that betta fish are often transported from dealers to pet shops in tiny plastic bags stuffed into cardboard boxes. These sensitive animals can be jostled around for days, often from one end of the country to the other. Help spread the word, and encourage others to let fish live in peace in their natural homes and not to support pet shops that sell them.

8. Never patronise pet shops.

NL pet trade_birds transport
In an investigation released by PETA Germany, harrowing conditions of neglect were witnessed alongside cannibalism, untreated injuries, and tiny barren cages. Animals bred for the pet trade are torn away from their mothers, packed into crates, and shipped for hundreds of miles in lorries or airplanes, often without adequate food, water, or ventilation. Every penny spent at a pet shop supports this abuse, so buy your animal-care supplies only at stores that don’t sell animals or online, and always adopt from animal shelters.

9. Refuse to attend circuses that use animals.

Forcing wild animals such as tigers, zebras, and camels to perform absurd tricks is an archaic practice that has no place in modern Britain. Animals used in circuses spend most of their lives being carted from one performance to another in “beast wagons” or barren temporary enclosures and may be beaten or punished as part of circuses’ barbaric training methods. The show must not go on!

10. Don’t go to zoos.

Zebra face CC0
Zoos routinely transfer animals among facilities, which is a stressful and terrifying ordeal that often kills them. Transporting giraffes and zebras is especially risky because they’re skittish by nature and try to flee when frightened. Giraffes’ bodies are so fragile that they routinely injure themselves – sometimes fatally – by running into the sides of transport cages in panic.

11. Spread this message far and wide to your family, friends, and colleagues.

There’s no better way to do this than by sharing the news about the Animals Are Not Freight – Day of Global Action on social media. Knowledge is power – let your friends, neighbours, and family members know about this campaign so that we can end the extreme crowding, exhaustion, dehydration, pain, and stress endured by animals in live transport.

Animals who suffer during transport need compassionate people to speak up for them – and your voice can make a difference. For example, thanks in part to individuals who voiced their concern, almost every major airline in the world now prohibits the transportation of primates to laboratories. Let’s make a difference by speaking out against cruelty in the transportation of all animals!