Live animal transport still a major animal welfare problem

On 09/07/2015, in All posts, Farm Animals, by Animal Welfare Intergroup

Strasbourg – At today’s meeting of the Intergroup on the Conservation and Welfare of Animals, Members of the European Parliament heard about the consistent failure of member states to enforce Regulation EC 1/2005 which causes millions of animals every year to suffer unnecessarily during transport. This is compounded further with the export of live animals to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

Intergroup President, Janusz Wojciechowski MEP who chaired the meeting suggested: “Despite legislation governing live animal transport being in place for ten years we are still seeing animals undertaking extremely long journeys without any respect for their welfare and the Commission has a duty to pursue Member States that continually flout this legislation and cause immense suffering as a consequence.”

The invited speakers spoke about the failure to enforce regulation EC 1/2005 and the consequences this has for animal welfare. They also raised the issue that animal suffering is being exported to third countries especially at the time of slaughter and this is totally unacceptable.

Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor at Compassion in World Farming stated that; “The EU exports two million cattle and sheep a year to the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.  These animals experience great suffering at slaughter in this region.  Not only is the slaughter cruel but it is in breach of the international standards on welfare at slaughter of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).”

He added: “We have informed the Commission and the exporting Member States of this problem but they refuse to halt the trade or to take effective steps to ensure that EU animals are slaughtered in accordance with the OIE standards.  This trade is in breach of Article 13 of TFEU which requires the EU to ‘pay full regard’ to animal welfare.  Compassion in World Farming calls on the EU to urgently halt this trade.”

 Dr Alexander Rabitsch presenting the findings of his latest report stated: “The European Commission is turning a blind eye to the issue of live animal transport. It is essential that the Commission acts today to ensure that the serious shortcomings witnessed on a daily basis across the EU are addressed immediately and that Member States are brought to task to ensure the highest levels of animal welfare are respected at all times on all transports.”


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