Rebuke to Commission on animal welfare standards during transport

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly demanded better conditions for animals during transport. MEPs slammed the Commission for lack of enforcement of the 2005 regulation currently in place while calling for stringent measures.

Today´s vote recognised that animals continue to suffer while being transported within the EU and to outside countries, calling for shorter transport times, a ban on exports to countries that do not meet European animal welfare standards and severe penalties for violations.

MEP Anja Hazekamp (Partij voor de Dieren, Netherlands) welcomed the warning from the Parliament but highlighted that the fight is far from over until the Commission takes action:

“Better inspections and heavier sanctions for violations of animal transport standards are urgently needed. It is of great importance that animal welfare during transport is dealt with in practice and not just on paper.”

“Every year, millions of animals are transported over extremely long distances in overloaded trucks. Current enforcement of animal welfare rules between many EU countries is inadequate – and even worse to non-EU countries.”

“Last summer I visited exit ports in Slovenia, Croatia and Romania, where I witnessed with my own eyes how animals suffer tremendously due to maltreatment, extremely long waiting times and extreme temperatures with no access to feed and water. There was no enforcement at all. Only the industry was protected,not the animals.”

Hazekamp went on to urge a ban on EU live animal exports to third countries:

“The European Court of Justice ruled that animals should be protected according to European regulations during their entire journey, even if it ends outside the EU. This cannot be guaranteed at all, so for that reason, the transport of animals to countries outside the EU must be prohibited.”

MEP Stefan Eck (Independent, Germany) condemned this disregard of animals as a reflection of EU values:

“It is a shame we still struggle to implement Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of live animals during transport. It has been proved countless times, this regulation is not enforced.”

“Shame on the Commission who does not have the guts to launch infringement procedures against failing governments! It says a lot about the EU’s poor values: animals don’t count,” Eck concluded

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