The use of subsidies which promote the export of live animals to third countries must be abolished
Posted on 02/12/2013
In light of the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s Trade Meeting taking place on the margin of the WTO Ministerial Conference on 3 December 2013, Eurogroup for Animals urges all member states to support the phase out of subsidies which promote the export of live animals to third countries. Long distance transport is a source of welfare problems and often leads to high levels of animal mortality.
In 2005, the European Commission stopped granting subsidies for the export of live animals to third countries for slaughter, but subsidies still remain for pure-bred breeding animals. The European Commission also announced at the same time that in line with WTO commitments, it would stop granting export refunds for all live animals by the end of 2013. This has not happened.
The recent reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) has seen the continued inclusion of the possibility to grant subsidies in the form of refunds for the export of live animals. The EU has modified its approach on export subsidies by limiting the future use of export subsidies but has not taken the step of eliminating them altogether, and this is disappointing.
As the CAP maintains the possibility to subsidise live exports, we continue to see the animal welfare problems caused by long distance transport. Overcrowding, inadequate ventilation, bad driving and failure to feed, water and rest the animals at correct intervals lead to unacceptable and unnecessary suffering and the EU can act to change this.
“The Council must act today to phase out export subsidies to improve the welfare of animals. The negotiations on agriculture should deliver what was promised in 2005 and ensure that export competition instruments such as export subsidies and exports credits are stopped,” stated Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals.