Animal transport in the EU should ensure highest possible welfare standards
Today, the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT) voted on a report and its recommendations to the Commission and Member States. The recommendations, which will be voted on in plenary in January, will be the basis for new rules for transporting animals in the EU, including specific standards for animal welfare. The Greens/EFA Group had called for the highest possible standards, including a ban on the transport of unweaned animals under 5 weeks, time limits regardless of the mode of transportation and a maximum journey of 8 hours for road and air transport.
Some of these conditions were not adopted in the final report, which is therefore left lacking in ambition.
Tilly Metz, Greens/EFA MEP and Chair of the Animal Transport Committee, comments;
"Today the European Parliament’s inquiry committee on animal transport adopted a lukewarm position on the need for better protection of animals during transport. After a year and half of hearings, missions and tough negotiations, the committee’s recommendations unfortunately fall just short of the expectations of NGOs and citizens. The inquiry report establishes numerous failings of the current animal transport system and identifies a dire need for stricter rules. The recommendations include a ban on the transport of highly pregnant or unweaned animals younger than 5 weeks and an 8 hour limitation for transport to slaughter. However, one of the most crucial calls for improvement, namely a general limitation of journey times to 8 hours, failed to get a majority. In January, our colleagues will have the opportunity to show more ambition in plenary. It will be our last chance to show the Commission and Member States what kind of system we want: an industrial system where live animals are transported halfway across the world in horrible conditions, or sustainable regional food systems where animals are reared and slaughtered within reasonable distances."
The European Commission has announced that it will publish its proposal for a revised animal transport regulation in 2023. The report and recommendations are a crucial opportunity for the European Parliament to set out what improvements it expects to see in the new law.