European Parliament misses opportunity to use CAP review to improve animal welfare
Posted on 13/03/2013
Eurogroup for Animals is extremely disappointed that the European Parliament has failed to support outlawing EU subsidies for the export of live cattle to third countries.
In 2005, the European Commission stopped granting subsidies for the export to third countries of live animals for slaughter, but they still remain for pure-bred breeding animals. The Commission also announced at the same time that in line with their commitments at WTO, it would stop granting all export refunds for all live animals by the end of 2013 but they have continued to be used and no phase out looks imminent. The European Parliament could have used its vote today to send a strong message to the Commission that it needs to act now to stop these payments which promote long-distance transport of animals with the associated welfare problems.
Subsidising live exports ensures that we continue to see animal welfare problems caused by long distance transport. Long distance transport is indeed a source of welfare problems and sometimes high mortality. Overcrowding, inadequate ventilation, bad driving and failure to feed, water and rest the animals at correct intervals lead to unacceptable suffering.
“Despite the fact that the granting of these subsidies is conditional to the respect of EU rules on animal welfare during transport, the suffering continues because the legislation is inadequate and Member States are either reluctant or unable to ensure correct implementation of these rules,” said Veronique Schmit, Executive Officer - Policy of Eurogroup for Animals.
“The Parliament has failed to act and protect animal welfare, and many animals will continue to suffer year on year. This is totally unacceptable and we at Eurogroup, together with our members and Europe’s citizens will continue to fight to ensure that no public money is used to promote the export in live animals,” she concluded.