MEPs joined more than a million Europeans today in calling on the Commission to put an end to long-distance live animal transport in the European Union. Three commissioners have already promised change, but failed to deliver. Meanwhile, food quality continues to be affected by long transports, emissions and costs increase, and animals suffer needlessly.
The written declaration, which ‘calls on the Commission and the Council to review Regulation 1/2005 to establish a maximum 8-hour limit for the journeys of animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered ‘, is directly linked to the 8hours campaign (www.8hours.eu).
Green MEP Carl Schlyter was one of the MEPs leading the successful Written Declaration. Today, during the plenary session in Strasbourg he thanked his fellow MEPs for their support and said:
European citizens and MEPs have grown tired of hearing empty words on animal welfare. The Commission has run out of excuses for not putting forward a proposal of reduced transport times. Eight hours is more than enough.
Eating local products or transporting meat rather than animals is a lot more efficient. This is a clear-cut win-win solution, and the Commission must now finally act.
Now that the Written Declaration has succeeded, the European Commission must come forward with a proposal for legislation. When that happens, Greens/EFA MEPs will ask for improved conditions during transport, less density and better protection for wounded animals. Previous Written Declarations that have led to legislation include a ban on cat and dog fur imports and Carl's own initiative to ban trade in seal products.
Green MEP Carl Schlyter is a member of the Environment Committee and a former President of the Intergroup on Welfare and Conservation of Animals.