United appeal from NGOs and MEPs: live animal transport must be stopped
For the past year the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT) analysed the implementation of EU rules by Member States and its correct enforcement by the European Commission.
The draft Report and relevant recommendations are going to be voted in Committee on December 2nd and put forward for adoption in January 2022. The Inquiry Recommendations are a relevant document especially in view of the Transport Regulation’s revision process, for which a new legislative proposal is expected in 2023.
Eurogroup for Animals and its members have been campaigning for decades to stop live transport and in the white paper Live animal transport: time to change the rules we outlined how the new Transport Regulation should adhere to the basic principles of reducing, refining and replacing live transport with meat/carcasses and genetic material trade, in line with the recommendations made by the European Food Safety Authority, the World Animal Health Organisation and the Federation of the Veterinarians of Europe.
Yet, every year over one billion animals are transported in the EU and from the EU to third countries and the current Transport Regulation doesn’t guarantee their effective protection.
Over the years we witnessed endless and avoidable suffering: animals crammed on overcrowded and unsuitable trucks and vessels, and animals unfit for transport, such as pregnant, young or injured ones. The tragedies at sea and on the road have given the ANIT Committee plenty of evidence to stop live transport.Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals
The way animals are transported in the EU is heartbreaking, devastating and unbelievably brutal and cruel. The investigation of the ANIT Committee confirmed that animals are currently not protected during transport and that changes are urgently needed. I expect from my colleagues in the ANIT Committee that they give a strong message to the European Parliament: long-distance transport, live export and the transport of vulnerable animals, such as unweaned animals, so-called 'end-of-career' animals and pregnant animals, must be stopped. We should be ashamed of ourselves if we let this continue, while we have the power to stop it.Anja Hazekamp MEP (The LEFT), Vice Chair of the ANIT Committee and President of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals
EU citizens and civil society are asking us to consider animal welfare as a priority. This cannot happen if live transport continues as before. We need shorter distances and species- and category-specific transport times and rules, a ban on transport of unweaned animals and more support for local and regional systems. And the massive export of live animals to third countries has to come to an end.Tilly Metz MEP (Greens/EFA, LU), Chairwoman of the ANIT Committee and Vice President of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals
On December 2nd the ANIT members can contribute to the building of a truly sustainable transport system by supporting key amendments to the ANIT Report and Recommendations.
To make sure that human and animal health and welfare will be effectively addressed in the revised Transport Regulation, Eurogroup for Animals urges to:
- Replace terrestrial farmed animals transport with the export of meat, carcasses and genetic materials to non-EU countries.
- Introduce species- and category-specific maximum journey times with a maximum travel time of 8 hours for adult bovine, swine, and ovine, and 4 hours for poultry and rabbits.
- Prohibit the transport of unweaned and pregnant animals (for which 40% of the pregnancy stage has already passed).
- Introduce species-specific requirements for the commercial movements of fish and invertebrate, laboratory animals, equidae, cats and dogs.
- Introduce clear definitions and species-specific rules for the Intra-EU movement of animals, including stricter and centralised systems for the approval of livestock vessels used to move animals within the EU.
Read the white paper Live animal transport: time to change the rules
Check the investigations on live animal transport
Clips from the investigations can be found on our YouTube channel
The Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT) was set up in June 2020 to investigate alleged violations in the application of the “Transport Regulation” (Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport).