#StopTheTrucks: End long distance live animal transportation
The campaign calls on decision makers to reduce and ultimately end long distance live animal transportation. Each year over 1 billion poultry and 37 million live cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and horses are transported within the EU, and are exported from the Union.
Despite widespread public support for a change to the law which governs the live animal transportation, as well as an evident gap between the requirements of the legislation and the available scientific evidence, the European Commission remains unchanged in its view that there is no need for revising the legislation as “a steady legal situation will allow Member States and stakeholders to focus on enforcement within a stable legal framework”.
The campaign comes on the back of a new Eurobarometer showing that 94% of European citizens believe that protecting the welfare of farm animals is important, 82% thinking that they should be better protected than they are at present, and 64% wanting more information about the treatment of farm animals.
David Bowles, Deputy Director for Public Affairs at the RSPCA, and Chair of Eurogroup for Animals’ Working Group on Live Transport, said: “The rules governing long distance live animal transportation aren’t only unfit for purpose, they are fundamentally broken. Enforcement is patchy at best, and the numbers of animals being transported have increased dramatically since the current law came into application in 2007.
“Obviously the market works for some at present, but it doesn’t work for the majority of consumers who simply want to know how their dairy and meat got from farm to fork, and it certainly doesn’t work for the animals who have to endure long, inhumane, and ultimately unnecessary journeys.
“It is time for us to show that the market can work more effectively by empowering consumers to choose the locally sourced, higher-welfare meat that so many wish to see, and to demonstrate the added benefits that come for the environment, but above all for the welfare of the millions of animals involved.”
Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals, added: “Eurogroup for Animals was founded more than 35 years ago, partly due to the need for common rules around the live transportation of animals. Our voice is sadly needed more than ever, as the Commission and some governments turn a blind eye to the reality of live animal transport in Europe today.
“Whilst we know we won’t stop the long distance live animal transport overnight, we do believe that by engaging with citizens and businesses who, like us, can see the benefit of moving to a carcass-only trade, that we will in time stop the trucks altogether.”
The rules governing long distance live animal transportation aren’t only unfit for purpose, they are fundamentally broken.David Bowles, Deputy Director for Public Affairs at the RSPCA