Romanian Parliament votes law that breaches the EU transport regulation


Romanian Parliament votes law that breaches the EU transport regulation

1 July 2020
Animals International
Yesterday the Romanian Parliament voted on a bill aimed at ensuring better animal welfare during transport. In reality, the law will legitimize a practice in Romania that is illegal under Council Regulation no. 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport (Transport Regulation).

The new Romanian law is proposing specific provisions to ensure the well-being of the animals transported over long-distances with external temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius. However, any long-distance transport of livestock taking place under these meteorological conditions, regardless of the transport conditions, would be in clear violation of legislative provision laid down in Annex I, Chapter VI, point 3.1 of the Transport Regulation.

In the past years, Romania ‘s poor decisions with regards to the export of live animals have unfortunately often hit the news. In July 2019, the Government decided to proceed with the export of about 70,000 sheep to the Persian Gulf. This happened despite the call of the former EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis to stop that transport, due to the impossibility of complying with EU animal welfare legal provisions under the extreme temperatures on the route.

In November 2019 a new tragedy was registered: a vessel transporting live animals to Saudi Arabia, overturned shortly after leaving Midia harbour in Romania, causing the death of over 14,000 sheep under the most dreadful conditions.

Romania is known for its poor level of implementation of the Transport Regulation, which was once more highlighted jointly with the serious risks this poses to the welfare of the animals concerned during a European Commission DG SANTE audit report released in April this year. 

We deplore that all the recommendations made by the EU Commission, especially with regards to transport during high temperatures season, remain unheard by the Romanian Government. Now that the law will be validated by the Romanian President in a few days, it seems Romanian authorities are determined to stick to a policy approach causing immense suffering to a huge amount of animals transported alive.

This is why Eurogroup for Animals joined Animals International and the Animal Welfare Foundation to call on the European Commission - in the absence of any goodwill of Romanian authorities - to immediately take action under its enforcement power by starting an infringement proceeding against Romania for violating the Regulation.