ABOUT THE ISSUE
One million animals are transported every day in Europe, most of them for slaughter.
Live transport, especially on long distances, is a major animal welfare concern. Animals are often exposed to stress, at loading and unloading, and can suffer, because of hunger, thirst, exhaustion, lack of space or rest.
Transporting live animals poses serious risks for animal health due possible spread of diseases. Scientific evidence shows that the stress of transport weakens the immune system making animals more vulnerable to diseases.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION
Since 2007, (EC) Regulation 1/2005 applies to all livestock transport in EU. It regulates the rest periods, the training and authorisation of drivers, stocking densities and general transport conditions. There is still no maximum journey times making it legal to transport animals for days on end throughout Europe. Control by authorities is scarce leading to very poor compliance and massive animal suffering.
The Commission published a report in November 2011 recognising that the existing legislation is not in line with current scientific knowledge, with detrimental consequences on animal welfare. The report also concludes that the current rules are not well enforced and that improvement is a priority.
WHAT ARE WE CALLING FOR
- Eurogroup believes that the time and the frequency of all transport of live animals should be limited and conditions in short journeys should be drastically improved. Long distance transport should not be allowed.
- Regulation (EC) 1/2005 must be revised to align it with current scientific knowledge.
- Animals should be slaughtered or further fattened as close as possible to their place of production.
- Member states must increase and strengthen dramatically the control of live transports and report the checks and findings in a transparent way. The European Commission must ensure that at national level there is sufficient control so that the law is respected.
- Scientific Opinion Concerning the Welfare of Animals during Transport (EFSA)
- Study on the impact of regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport (DG SANCO)
- Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the impact of Council Regulation (Ec) 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport