The Parliament’s inquiry into the protection of animals during transport (the ANIT committee), established in June 2020 to investigate alleged violations of the EU rules, completed its work Thursday. He concluded that the EU provisions in this area are not always respected in the Member States and do not fully take into account the different transport needs of animals.
MEPs gathered information from citizens and NGOs on animal welfare violations during transport. These violations included a lack of free space, water or food supplies, shipment of animals unfit for transport, overcrowding, use of inappropriate vehicles, transport during extreme temperatures and travel times. extended.
The report, setting out the main conclusions of the investigation, was adopted with 30 votes in favor and one abstention.
On the basis of the conclusions, the deputies of the ANIT committee approved a set of draft recommendations by 24 votes to 1, with 5 abstentions. These include a call on the Commission and EU countries to step up their efforts to respect animal welfare during transport and to update EU rules.
CCTV cameras, adequate temperature and ban on transporting very young animals
MEPs want CCTV cameras on transport vehicles, especially for loading and unloading operations, to protect operators who comply with the rules. They also ask national authorities to approve animal movement plans only if the expected temperature is between 5 ° C and 30 ° C. New rules are expected to introduce devices for recording temperature, humidity and ammonia in vehicles.
MEPs also call on the Commission to establish travel time limits covering all species and ages of animals, as well as a ban on the transport of very young animals under 35 days of age. The transport of unweaned animals older than 35 days should be avoided and allowed only in cases where the journey is less than two hours.
Transporting meat on live animals
MEPs call for a transition to a more efficient and ethical system, which favors the transport of semen or embryos over breeding animals, and carcasses and meat over animals intended for slaughter. They call on the Commission to urgently present, by 2023 at the latest, an action plan to support this transition, including a proposal for specific funds to minimize the socio-economic impacts of the changes that need to be made.
Stop the export of live animals
According to MEPs, no control system is in place for the transport of animals to third countries. They ask Member States to inspect all consignments to non-EU countries, with a focus on animal access to food and water, operation of watering devices, as well as the space and headroom for animals. The export of live animals should only be approved if it complies with European animal welfare standards.
EP rapporteur Daniel Buda (EPP, RO) said: “Animal welfare during transport is in the common interest of farmers, consumers and the entire supply chain. Decisions taken in the European Parliament must take into account the realities around us.
“The transport of live animals is an important branch of the EU economy, and important for the financial survival of our farmers. The transport of live animals both within the European Union and in third countries must continue while, of course, respecting the legislation and improving welfare standards.
Co-rapporteur Isabel Carvalhais (S&D, PT) added: “We want this committee to make a real difference in defending animal welfare when transporting live animals. This is an ambition based on respect for the different geographic realities in the EU, for our rural communities and for the persistent differences in infrastructure development across the continent.
You can watch the press conference with the rapporteurs to conclude the work of ANIT here (December 3 at 10 a.m.).
The Plenary Assembly is due to discuss the two documents and vote on the draft recommendations at the Strasbourg plenary session in January 2022.