Live animal transport: due time to change the rules

Farm Animals

Live animal transport: due time to change the rules

White Paper

In the European Union, Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 applies to the transport of animals that takes place within and from the EU in connection with an economic activity. A vast range of animal species are transported within the EU and beyond for commercial activities, but the Transport Regulation does not guarantee effective protection to all of them. The majority of its provisions refer only to the welfare of certain terrestrial farmed animal species: the requirements for the transport of fish, companion animals and equines are less developed; and measures to ensure the welfare of a large group of species transported for scientific purposes are completely absent.

This white paper is Eurogroup for Animals’ response to the European Commission’s stated aims in revising the Transport Regulation: “to align it with the latest scientific evidence, broaden its scope, make it easier to enforce and ultimately ensure a higher level of animal welfare”. As a general principle, the revised Transport Regulation should adhere to the basic principles of reducing, refining and replacing live transport, whenever applicable.

Originally published in 2021, this white paper received an update in 2024 to factor in recent European Food Safety Authority opinions on live transport, the results of the 2023 special Eurobarometer on animal welfare and more.

This updated version also includes a critical analysis of the European Commission’s recent proposal for a revised regulation on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.