The veterinary department of the Rhein-Sieg district has attempted in vain to spare 66 pregnant cows the transport to Morocco and possible agony. The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) in Münster has overturned a contrary decision of the Administrative Court in Cologne in an urgent decision.As a result, the animals were shipped on Friday. The veterinarians in Siegburg have repeatedly refused to issue papers to hauliers for animal transports to Morocco and were supported by the Cologne Administrative Court. In November, the court banned the transport of 132 pregnant cows to North Africa, citing reports from animal welfare organisations about “brutal medieval methods”. For example, animals’ legs were tied together so that they could be pushed over. Then a slaughterer climbs on top of the animal and cuts its throat. Animals are also hung by one leg while fully conscious.Now the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) overturned such a decision made in Cologne. According to the Münster judges, possible slaughtering in Morocco in violation of animal welfare was not the responsibility of the carrier. There was also nothing concrete to suggest that the cows were treated in a manner contrary to animal welfare immediately after arrival. The veterinary department relied on “general knowledge” about the treatment of cows in Morocco and not on “neutral opinions of state authorities”. Furthermore, a veterinary department has no competence to issue general transport bans.