Animal protection organization Animal Outlook recently shared their experience following a pig transport truck for 32 hours straight. The investigators followed the truck as it traveled 1,200 miles from Nebraska to California and never once saw the pigs let out of the trailer despite the soaring summer temperatures. The investigators also caught the drivers breaking one of the only federal laws meant to protect farmed animals in transport.
On August 23, 2021, investigators for Animal Outlook began trailing a transport truck in Nebraska. It was a hot day, with temperatures reaching a scorching 91 degrees Fahrenheit. Transport trucks are not designed to protect animals from weather, and temperatures inside can reach well over 100 degrees. Many animals have suffered from heat stress, asphyxiation, and heart attacks on their journey to slaughter.
The investigators continued following the truck as it entered Wyoming and eventually pulled over across from a travel center after 9 p.m. As the hours passed, the investigators slept in shifts to make sure they did not miss the truck leaving. During the night, they could hear the pigs—all packed tightly together inside the trailer—screaming. They recorded the heartbreaking sound.
The truck took to the road again, with the investigators behind it, just before 8 a.m. the next day, first passing into Utah and then Nevada. It stopped at ports of entry as it crossed state lines, as well as multiple gas stations and rest areas. While these breaks came as a relief to the investigators—who were able to switch drivers, pick up snacks, and stretch their legs—no such relief was afforded the pigs. Scott David, director of investigations at Animal Outlook, wrote:
During stops, we could leave our vehicles to stretch our legs. We had air conditioning and our pick of vegan snacks from the gas stations along the way. The pigs were crammed together in an exposed metal box and had likely gone the whole journey without food. There is no reason for sentient beings to suffer like that.
The transport truck finally entered California just after 7:45 p.m. Pacific time and pulled off to the shoulder of a freeway exit about 30 minutes later. At this point, the investigators had been trailing the truck for around 32 hours. The pigs had been trapped inside the truck without rest, food, or water for that entire time.
This is against the law. A federal law known as the Twenty-Eight Hour Law states that animals cannot be transported more than 28 consecutive hours without unloading them for at least five hours of rest. They must also be given food and water after 28 hours of travel. Unfortunately, the law is rarely enforced, and Animal Outlook’s investigation is just another example of this. Animal Outlook is calling on the USDA and the Department of Justice to enforce the law.
While enforcing this law is important, current laws in the United States do not go far enough in protecting farmed animals during transport. This is why Mercy For Animals is calling on the USDA and the Department of Transportation to modernize U.S. animal transport laws by providing species-appropriate space, rest time, food, water, and protection from extreme temperatures. SIGN THE PETITION.
You can also stand up for animals by choosing plant-based food. Visit ChooseVeg for resources, news, and more that will help you start your plant-based journey.