Breaking! EU Implements New Rules For The Transport Of Animals During Live Export; May This Be A Step To Ending The Archaic Practice In The Future

After 18 months of fact-finding, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called on EU countries to respect animal welfare during transport of live animals. May it be the first step to ending the cruel and inhumane practice from occurring.

Each year, millions of live animals are transported by road, sea, rail, and air within and outside of the EU for slaughter, fattening or breeding. Their wellbeing during these journeys should be ensured by special EU rules, in force from 2005; however, this has turned out not to be the case.

“Animal welfare during transport is non-negotiable and must be respected until the animals reach their final destination,” EP rapporteur Daniel Buda (EPP, RO) said in a statement, further noting that this applies to both member states and third world countries.

Parliament’s inquiry, set up in June 2020 to investigate alleged violations of EU animal transport rules, concluded that EU provisions in this area are not always complied within member states and do not fully take into account the different needs of animals. The most obvious violations include lack of headroom, water or food supply for transported animals, animals being shipped when they are unfit for transport, and overcrowding. Inappropriate vehicles are used, and transport sometimes takes place under extreme temperatures and extended journey times.

MEPs adopted recommendations on Thursday with a vote of 557 to 55 and 78 abstentions to remedy the situation. They call on the Commission and EU to step up their efforts to respect animal welfare during transport, update EU rules, and appoint an EU commissioner responsible for animal welfare.

Among the conditions, the MEPs demand that the journey time for domestic animals going to slaughter should not exceed eight hours and pregnant animals in the last third of gestation should not be transported for more than four hours.

MEPs also want CCTV cameras on transport vehicles, especially for loading and unloading. National authorities should only approve animal travel plans if the temperature is forecasted to be between 5ºC and 30ºC. Temperature, humidity, and ammonia levels in vehicles should be recorded.

There is no control system in place, MEPs criticize, to transport animals to non-EU countries. They demand member states to inspect all consignments to non-EU countries, to ensure that animals are fed and hydrated, that drinking devices function properly, and that they have enough space and headroom. Live animal export should be approved only if it complies with European animal welfare standards.

Although this is a step in the right direction, we hope that one day soon live export will be banned worldwide.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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