Photo credit: ©Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals with Eyes On Animals
The French Minister for Agriculture and Food, Didier Guillaume, has announced on the France 2 TV show ‘4 Vérités’ a suspension on live animal transport because of the high temperatures.
The restriction will start today and will prohibit certain transports of living animals between 1pm and 6pm from the French départements that are under orange/red alert for the heat.
Restrictions de transports des animaux en cas de canicule :
— Europe 1 📻 (@Europe1) July 23, 2019
With another heatwave set to envelope Europe this week, France’s decision is the latest in a series of actions taken by some Member States to alleviate the situation.
“For animals crammed into trucks for transportation – often for several days or weeks – temperatures exceeding 30°C , let alone 40°C, cause heat stress which is hellish and can be deadly,” said Reineke Hameleers, director of Eurogroup for Animals. “With their suspension of some live transport, France is heading in the right direction. But we are still concerned that this order will have a limited impact on the welfare of animals.”
Unfortunately the scope of this order is quite limited. The restriction is not applicable to consignments destined to other EU and non-EU countries, and it does not affect sea transport. The role of the DDPP – the territorially competent administrative authority that oversees animal health and the protection of populations – is not sufficiently clarified, and there is a risk that approvals will continue to be granted despite the fact that trucks will go through the area categorized as orange/red. Also, the limited time of the suspension poses severe risks due to the fact that under such extreme weather conditions, temperatures can be higher than 30°C even before 1pm and after 6pm.
Eurogroup for Animals and its French members Fondation Brigitte Bardot, Welfarm, Compassion in World Farming France (CIWF), L214 and La Fondation Droit Animal, Ethique et Sciences (LFDA), call on the French Government to suspend live animal transport during the summer period as the only way to effectively protect the welfare of animals and comply with the Council Regulation (EC) no. 1/2005.
Eurogroup for Animals is working to have an EU ban of live transport during summer.
Farm Animals Programme Officer