MEPs call for an official EP inquiry after damning investigations reveal barbaric treatment of European exported livestock
The shocking evidence convinced MEP’s to call for an official EP inquiry into this illegal, unnecessary, immoral and barbaric treatment of animals.
AI and TSB/AWF have conducted a landmark two year investigation ending February 2017, documenting the horrific mishandling and slaughter of European livestock, including cattle and sheep, across their European journey to their final destination in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt. The footage shows transport and slaughter methods that are routine for such importing countries, and that breach European regulations and international standards.
The investigation prompted AI and TSB/AWF to join forces with Eurogroup for Animals and its members from all over Europe to call on the European Commission to phase-out live animal exports, and actively encourage a transition to a carcass-only trade with importing countries.
Expressing shock over the released footage, Belgian Minister Weyts opened the event by stressing Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands’ expectation, as expressed in the joint Ministerial Declaration they co-signed, for the European Commission to ensure enforcement of the Transport Regulation but also to adjust the Regulation in terms of maximum transport times and transport conditions so as to avoid such barbaric scenes in future.
“This investigation reveals an abject failure by EU officials to monitor live animal export. Animals raised in European care are being transported in manners that are in breach of EU regulations and they are enduring horrific slaughter practices in breach of international agreements,” said Animals International EU Director, Gabriel Paun.
We have seen many petitions and resolutions, but as we have witnessed today, the situation has only deteriorated and we cannot accept this any longer.” said MEP Maria Noichl, Vice-President of the European Parliament Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of Animals and chairperson on the EP working group on live animal transport.
Eurogroup for Animals Director, Reineke Hameleers, stated “The European Court of Justice has ruled that the EU’s Transport Regulation also applies outside EU borders, until animals reach their final destinations. Yet this ruling is not being abided to and animals continue to be exported in horrible conditions.” In addition she said, “Not only is this illegal, it is also immoral and unnecessary as all of the cited destination countries also import lots of chilled and frozen meat. There is absolutely no excuse for putting animals through unnecessary suffering by exporting them alive.”
“Ethical and regulatory failures on animal trade start well before animals even arrive in the importing countries. Currently there is no requirement to have a vet on board livestock vessels leaving the EU, thus thousands of animals are without access to veterinary care for up to 10 days in a high risk environment,” said TSB|AWF Director, Iris Baumgärtner. She added, “All you need to think about is thousands of animals imprisoned on a ship – not conceived for animal transport – tossed around in wild seas, to understand just how wrong this trade is.”
Appalled by this new evidence demonstrating once more that the Transport Regulation is not only poorly implemented and enforced but also not fit for purpose, Intergroup Vice-president, Anja Hazekamp speaking on behalf of the Intergroup, called for an official EP inquiry into the treatment of European exported livestock. “Time is now to investigate the situation of long distance animal transport by land and sea, investigate why the ECJ’s judgment is not being implemented and hold those accountable who are neglecting their responsibilities”, said Hazekamp following the release. She was supported in her call by the event’s moderator and vice-President of the Intergroup, Jeppe Kofod who stated “I fully support Eurogroup for Animals’ call to move towards a carcass export trade only and will make sure this official inquiry will deliver clear recommendations on what’s needed to do so.”
Eurogroup for Animals, Animals International (AI) and Tierschutzbund Zurich|Animal Welfare Foundation (TSB/AWF), will be holding an important event Monday 6 March from 13h-15h that will present their EU-wide investigation into the horrific mishandling of live animal exports from Europe to third countries.
|Animals International, TSB|AWF and Eurogroup for Animals call on the European Commission and relevant exporting Member States to immediately:
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Gabriel Paun, Animals International, EU Director
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Iris Baumgärtner, Animal Welfare Foundation|Tierschutzbund Zurich, Project Manager
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Francesca Porta, Eurogroup for Animals Program Officer Farm animals
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