long distance live transport of pigs is often neglected by animal advocates. In
Austria we found that there is a regular supply of pigs being transported from
Belgium to Austria, with 30 hours travel, only to be slaughtered here. While local
breeding and slaughter is equally abhorrent, the general atmosphere in Austrian
society against live transport and fur is very conducive to media reports and
public sympathy for any animal rights actions concerning those issues. Hence,
some animal rights people decided to connect the issue of abuse and death of pigs
in factory farms with the live transport issue.
After following Belgique
live pig transporters on a number of occasions, animal activists found that at
least every Thursday or Friday night, about 500 pigs in two lorries with trailers
are being transported to the slaughterhouse in Graz in the South-East of Austria.
So, on the night of September 23rd, activists stopped the lorries outside this
slaughterhouse, and blockaded the entire slaughterhouse with a mass sit in. The
first lorry driver, however, did not stop and drove through the line of people,
dragging two activists between his front wheels for at least 30 meters. The lorry
was eventually stopped only when an activist pulled the trailer's break pipes
out of their sockets, blocking the trailer breaks. Police soon arrived, but ignored
the complaints by the animal rights activists. A TV news team that had come with
the activists had the attempted murder by the lorry driver on film but mysteriously
lost the footage. Nevertheless, the blockade was a news item. Police soon removed
the activists from the slaughterhouse entrance.
But there was more to come.
On the night of November 25th, approximately 50 activists laid an ambush for the
two Belgian lorries just off the motorway near Kirchdorf in Upper Austria. Around
1 AM on the 26th, the lorries were stopped by a roadblock of five activist cars.
A number of activists locked onto the pig transport lorries with bicycle d-locks.
One driver became enraged and started lashing out at activists, but the shear
number of animal rights people present ensured that no one was injured.
pigs on the transport had large, fresh bruises and wounds from having been beaten
and whipped, and all were exhausted. The pigs were crowded so densely that there
was no space for any of them to lie down. The driver explained that this was for
their own good, as otherwise they would fly around when the lorry turned with
the curves of the road.
Three quarters of an hour later the police arrived.
After long discussions and inspections of the lorry, police gave the activists
an ultimatum to leave. The activists refused to unlock. A couple of hours later,
the emergency squad arrived and eventually all the activists were cut free from