The European Parliament has agreed to establish a committee of inquiry to investigate violations of Union law and of animal welfare during transport, a proposal advanced by GUE/NGL MEP Anja Hazekamp (Partij voor de Dieren, Netherlands).

Approved by a large majority (605 in favour, 53 against), the request gained momentum after several high profile incidents of animal abuse during transport including the capsizing of a ship carrying 14,000 sheep off the coast of Romania as it headed to the Middle East. Hazekamp has witnessed first-hand many of the irregularities in the transport of animals and is expected to take part in the committee:

“This inquiry committee will carry out a thorough investigation to uncover how it is possible that time again transportation is licensed under illegal circumstances. We want to force EU member states to comply with the rules and no longer permit animal transport during extreme weather conditions or for weeks on end to countries outside of the Union.”

Committees of inquiry are only established under strict conditions, in the case of alleged contraventions and maladministration in the implementation of EU law by European and national authorities and/or by third parties. The Committee will hear from experts and request information from European and national bodies.  Member states refusing to cooperate can be penalised. Past committees of inquiry investigated the Panama Papers (2016), Dieselgate (2015) and the BSE-crisis (1996).

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