On 19th November Jørn Dohrmann MEP (ECR, DK), rapporteur in the Agriculture Committee on the Implementation report on the protection of animals during transport, hosted a hearing at the European Parliament. Experts from different fields were invited to present their experience, with the aim to collect information and data to substantiate the parliamentary report.

The meeting was opened by Mr Dohrmann who briefly introduced the issue of live transport, stressing the need to shift from live trade to a transport of meat and carcasses only. This call was echoed by Janusz Wojciechowski, member of the First Chamber of the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Mr Wojciechowski provided the audience with an overview of the main problems identified by the auditors concerning the implementation of the EU Transport Regulation. In the new ECA audit on Animal Welfare, it was highlighted that serious problems persist when animals are transported alive, especially over long-distances. There is a lack of data available at EU level which makes it difficult to judge the degree of compliance with this animal welfare legislation. TRACES, the monitoring system used by the Commission to evaluate the level of implementation, is not always accessible to local authorities and thus scarcely used. The Commission representative, Ms. Ana Ramirez Vela, Head of Unit at the Directorate F of DG SANTE, acknowledged that the lack of data is problematic and the Commission is looking into solutions. However, infringement procedures against non-compliant Member States are not in the pipeline for the moment, and neither are other audits on welfare during transport which regrettably for 2019 have been set to zero.

Iris Baumgärtner from the Animal Welfare Foundation/Tierschutzbund Zürich (AWF/TSB) and Gabriel Paun from Animals International gave presentations on severe violations that continue to occur during live transport both by sea and road. Mario Sapino, a former official veterinarian with extensive experience on live animal transport, stressed that it is almost impossible to guarantee animal welfare when animals are transported alive to Third Countries and he flagged that, on the basis of his experience, 70% of the infringements could be solved by systematically checking the welfare of animals prior to departure.

Paula de Vera, from COPA-COGECA, also participated in the discussion. She stated that members of COPA-COGECA are  compliant with the provisions of the Transport Regulation. However, in the light of the evidence shown during the meeting, it is unclear  how farmers’ organisations can effectively ensure compliance with the legislation.

The presentations were followed by a lively and stimulating discussion.


For Information:

Francesca Porta

Programme Officer_Farm Animals, at Eurogroup for Animals



Iris Baumgärtner (AWF/TSB): PPT

Iris Baumgärtner (AWF/TSB): video

Gabriel Paun (Animal International): PPT

Mario Sapino (Former Official Vet): PPT


Comments are closed.