Live animal transport proposal not a priority for Belgian presidency
In December the European Commission published a proposal for the transport of live animals, but the proposed text failed to recommend actions that can make significant improvements for animal welfare, ignoring several EFSA opinions. Most strikingly, it still allows for animals to be transported live to non-EU countries, despite the ever growing concerns on the consequences of such journeys.
It was hoped that the Council could work on the topic and strengthen the proposal. However, with the Belgian Presidency deciding to kick the can down the road, the EU will not be in a position to adopt new welfare standards for the transport of live animals any time soon. The programme only mentions the drafting of a progress report on animal transport, and will only be worked on “if there is time”, which according to news reports, is highly unlikely.
At the beginning of its term in 2019, this Commission under President Ursula von der Leyen committed to improving the lives of farmed animals by coming forward with a number of proposals, of which transport is just one.
It was expected that this whole package could come into force and start improving the lives of millions of animals across the EU as soon as 2027. So far the Commission has only brought forward the proposal on transport, which could now be further delayed, and a proposed regulation on cats and dogs which the Council is expected to adopt a general approach on.