Today’s Agri-Fish Council meeting saw a debate on live animal transport by the ministers in attendance, with the majority supporting Commissioner Andriukaitis’ call for the suspension of journeys during summer.
In his opening speech on the topic, the Commissioner stated that Australia has banned live export during the summer season, stating that “the EU cannot lag behind.” He welcomed initiatives from certain Member States that have suspended temporarily long-distance live transport in line with last year’s request by the EU Commission.
On the subject of this weekend’s decision by Romania to go ahead with the transport of 70,000 sheep from Romania to the Persian Gulf, Commissioner Andriukaitis said that the Commission is investigating the issue and that “infringement proceedings against Romania cannot be excluded at this time”.
Of the member states, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Hungary, Slovenia and Cyprus were in favour of suspending live animal transports when external temperatures are above 30°C, or are already doing so. Regrettably, Romania was not open to discussing any actions, reiterating its disregard for the EU’s legally binding animal welfare requirements set by Regulation 1/2005 and the EU Court of Justice (C-424/13).
“It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal,” Commissioner Andriukaitis said. “It is time to see how we can develop a more harmonised framework. We need to introduce measures, and more needs to be done right now. I urge all Member States to take action to protect our values and our animals.”
Francesca Porta, Farm Animals Programme Officer
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