Live animals transport unhealthy for humans and animals

On 20/11/2011, in All posts, Transport, by Animal Welfare Intergroup

“Animals are dragged sometimes for days across Europe to be slaughtered. This must end. Animals should preferably be transported to the nearest slaughterhouse, but in any case no longer than eight hours or 500km,” says MEP Judith Merkies. “Not only does the long journey transportation spread (animal) diseases, it is also degrading for animals.”

Last week, the European Commission presented its long-awaited report on the current EU legislation on animal transport. According to the Commission, changing the law is not necessary. Instead of tightening the law, the Commission calls for better coordination and enforcement of the existing legislation, such as controlling the number of animals per truck, the conditions of carriage, rest periods for animals and harmonization of penalties.

“Animal Transport legislation is simply not good enough. There is too much room for interpretation by Member States as regards what is the definition of journey times and transport conditions. A clear rule is needed at European level, which should be more transparent and more humane. I therefore urge everyone to support the ‘8-hours’ initiative, which requests a maximum of 8 hours transport time for animals destined for slaughter.”

“Under current EU law, animals can be transported over thousands of kilometres for several days. Because of long transport times, animals are exposed to extreme conditions, making them suffer from exhaustion, dehydration and injury. The poor health of animals contributes to the spread of diseases,” says Merkies.

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