Preparatory meeting: Live transport of animals
The transport of millions of animals within and outside the EU is currently covered by the EC Regulation No 1/2005 but the outdated and poorly enforced standards fail to ensure the welfare of the transported animals. They are often exposed to thirst, hunger, excessive heat, exhaustion, and the lack of space or rest. Animal transport can also contribute to the spreading of diseases. Members of the Intergroup are committed to raise this issue in the Parliament and to call for solutions.
Gabriel Paun, EU Director of Animals Australia, started his presentation by providing an update on the current crisis of the capsized vessel with 14,600 sheep on board. The cargo overturned shortly after leaving the Midia harbour in Romania towards Saudi Arabia. This ship was approved by Romanian authorities for long-distance transport despite being outdated and not designed for live transport. The reaction to the capsize also demonstrated that, despite the fact that Midia is the busiest harbour for livestock transport, no procedure was in place to manage the crisis.
Romania has been exporting thousands of sheep to the Middle East in extreme temperatures. This summer, 70.000 sheep were sent to the Persian Gulf despite the high temperature and the call from the Commission to stop this shipment. The mortality on these cargos sent to the Middle East is extremely high. On one of the vessels sent to Jordan, 100% of the transported animals died before reaching their destination. This mass transport from Romania towards the Middle East does not respect the EU legislation nor the Court of Justice ruling stating that the EU regulation should also apply to the part of the journey outside the EU.