Improving animal welfare during transport

A report calling for stricter rules for transporting live animals has been approved today by the Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

ECR Danish MEP Jørn Dohrmann is parliament’s rapporteur on the report which finds that data collection varies wildly between Member States and that there needs to be a stronger link between CAP payments and animal welfare.

The European Court of Justice has previously ruled that EU entities are still responsible for animals’ welfare even after they have entered a third country. Dohrmann’s report therefore recommends banning live animal transports to third countries whose animal welfare standards are not as high as the EU’s.

In welcoming the report after the vote, Dohrmann said:

“The EU has previously made progress on improving animal welfare during transport, however challenges remain. One of those is to ensure animals receive the same treatment when they leave the EU as they do within it.

All actors in the transport chain need to live up to their obligations, whether they are farmers, traders of animals, veterinarians, or transport companies. Implementation of existing legislation needs to be improved, such as improving reporting and strengthening the current enforcement regime, as well as and doing more to minimise transport times.

Dohrmann continued:

“Currently we see how data collected from member states is not particularly dependable. That poses a problem for enforcement, as it makes it harder for authorities to validate and scrutinise the level of compliance. We urgently need to ensure valid and uniform data collection as well as a sanctions system across the union in order to make sure animals are protected, and that anyone responsible for mistreating animals can be held responsible.”

Dohrmann also added that more reflection was needed on the EU’s longer-term policy on live animal transports.

“In other parts of the world such as India, New Zealand and Australia, they are taking measures to limit live exports. The EU has always praised itself for being a global front-runner for animal welfare. Developments around the world show that the EU now has to step up its efforts in order to retain that position.”

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