Europe: ‘MEPs demand “proper enforcement” of animal transport rules’

Posted on October 12, 2012

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Yesterday (11th October), an item was posted on theparliament.com titled ‘MEPs demand “proper enforcement” of animal transport rules’.

‘… Centre-right MEP Janusz Wojciechowski says the EU should consider a maximum journey time for animals being taken to slaughterhouses.

Speaking at a news conference in parliament on Thursday, the ECR member said “too many” member states were dragging their feet when it comes to enforcing EU rules on journey times.

He said member states “must do more” to improve the welfare of animals in transit by enforcing rules and checking journey times.

The Polish deputy also called on member states to impose “dissuasive penalties” on offenders.

He was speaking after a meeting of parliament’s agriculture committee on Thursday backed a parliamentary resolution which calls for shorter journeys to abattoirs.

The resolution adopted on Thursday also says the EU should promote the use of local abattoirs and consider an eight-hour, EU-wide limit on journey times.

Wojciechowski said he supported the resolution, adding, “Long-distance animal transport causes suffering to animals and increases costs for consumers.

“Unlike the commission, we believe that animal transport requires immediate action, in particular to reduce the numbers of animals transported and transport times”, added the member, who is parliament’s rapporteur on animal welfare.

The resolution was voted with 31 in favour, four against and three abstentions.

In March this year, parliament adopted a written declaration calling for an eight-hour limit on the transport of animals for slaughter and many MEPs also signed a petition supporting this.

The numbers of animals transported in the EU grew substantially in 2005-2009.In the case of pigs, the increase was 70 per cent.

One-third of these journeys took eight hours or more.

Wojciechowski said that in order to remedy persistent animal welfare problems in transport, existing legislation in all member states “must be properly and uniformly enforced”.

More on-the-spot inspections should be carried out and national sanctions against rule-breakers should be harmonised and made far more “dissuasive”, he said.

It was claimed that some operators were seeking to bypass the rules, which have been in force since 2007 by avoiding countries like Austria where enforcement is particularly strict.

The committee earlier agreed that measures to restrict the time taken to transport animals to slaughter to eight hours should be considered, but “geographical and science-based exceptions for certain species” must also be taken into consideration.

Members said an eight-hour journey limit would not by itself be sufficient to improve animal welfare, which often depends more on proper vehicle equipment and on the good handling of animals.

MEPs instead called for “science-based improvements in transport conditions, including space allowances and water conditions” …’

Read the item at www.theparliament.com/latest-news/article/newsarticle/meps-demand-proper-enforcement-of-animal-transport-rules/#.UHfTDq5c_t0

[Vegans say abandon the exploitation, abuse and slaughter of all animals, and abandon the production and consumption of all animal products.]

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