EU: MEP’s Have Their Say In the Hundreds, But In The End; If Commissioner Says NO, Then No It is.



The following is produced in relation to the EU elections which will take place on 23-26 May 2019. They are for Members of the European Parliament (MEP), not for the Commissioners, who are not elected by the democratic system. The government of each member state of the EU nominates a member for the Commission, but cannot later give them any orders or remove them from their post. The members of the Commission are supposedly positioned to act in the interest of the European Union as a whole, and not their home country.

Thus, electing MEP’s with your vote in May really does not change anything. MEP’s have NO power to remove a Commissioner – and the Commissioner is ultimately the SINGLE person who has the FINAL SAY regardless of decisions and votes taken in the European Parliament.

So is there any point in ‘EU man and woman’ really having a vote when the EU system works like this ? – we see it simply as a veil for the EU establishment to give the EU citizen he is making a difference, when the reality is the decisions are made by the Commissioners who are un elected and cannot be removed ! – a fair system ? – what do you think ?

So the EU Parliament of hundreds of members can vote for animal transport times to be reduced; but if the Commissioner says NO, then No it is.

Remember this when you are asked to give your vote at the EU elections in May. Does your vote for MEP’s only really mean anything ? – we suggest you ask the sole decision making Commissioners.

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Every year millions of animals are transported live from the EU for slaughter in the Middle East and North Africa. The journeys last hundreds of hours and they face brutal treatment on arrival at their final destination.

Every year, over three million animals are exported from the European Union to NON-EU countries. Hundreds of thousands are destined for countries such as Russia, Turkey, The Middle East and North Africa. Investigations have uncovered animals being exported live for brutal slaughter in countries across the Middle East, and even as far away as Singapore.

Despite these countries having no laws that protect animals from brutal treatment, and though the European Commission and livestock exporting Member States have long been made fully aware of the extreme cruelty such animals are being subjected to, both have been actively seeking to increase the export of EU animals.

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In 2015 the European livestock export value increased 25,2% compared to 2014, and increased further in 2016. In the first nine months of 2016 EU export of live animals increased to 17,2 % in comparison to the same period in 2015.

A 5 year study carried out between 2010-2015 by Eyes on Animals and TSB/AWF demonstrated 70% of live export trucks inspected at the (EU) Bulgarian border (a major exit point for EU animals) were breaching the EU Transport Regulation. The team found animals, such as sheep, starving, without water, parked in direct sunlight, and waiting 5 days before continuing their journey. Packed tightly together, young lambs were trampled to death while the elders were left standing on their carcasses.

These horrifically long journeys must be stopped once and for all and replaced by a trade in frozen or refrigerated meat. When European animals are exported outside of the EU, they can suffer squalid housing, brutal handling, torturous restraint systems, and slow, painful slaughter. But we have shown with investigations for many years that animals being transported within the EU also suffer terribly.

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Barbaric slaughtering methods.

Investigations continually provide evidence that the slaughtering of animals being sold from the EU to Third Countries is barbaric. The footage captured on the slaughtering routines these importing countries are using are in full breach of international standards. Such routines include terrifying fully conscious very large bulls by painfully dragging them up off the floor by one of their rear legs, and slashing their throat several times before they die in Turkish slaughterhouses.

Similar footage shows partial hoisting of fully conscious cattle in Lebanese slaughterhouses and their torture with electric prods before their throats are slashed. There is evidence as well of petrified European animals being brutally restrained by ropes before having their throats hacked whilst fully conscious in the Palestinian territories and Egypt. Furthermore, the extended suffering of European animals has been caught on camera showing how full inversion slaughter boxes are used in Turkey, Ramallah and Egypt. In addition, the brutal handling and slaughtering of Portuguese and Romanian sheep was documented in the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

Under EU Regulation 1/2005, animals are being exported by European countries to Non EU nations without any consideration as to whether the importing countries’ infrastructure, handling and slaughter practices comply with basic international standards. Even if the majority of abattoirs in importing countries have no capacity or understanding to handle or slaughter animals humanely, no EU regulation ought to allow the animal cruelty that is occurring. Further still, the fact that so many importing countries lack even the most basic hygiene protocols means the resulting meat is in fact unfit for human consumption in the EU.

Some MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) are in favour of improving conditions for animals in transport and have voted to impose an overall limit on journey times. In its last sitting the European Parliament voted in favour of a limit to journey times, but the European Commission failed to support this change, resulting in no change in the law.

So, we can say with confidence that the European Commission is failing all animals that are transported both within, and to nations outside of the European Union.

The EU Commissioner responsible for failures is one:

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Philp Hogan (born 4 July 1960) an Irish Fine Gael politician, and climate change sceptic, who has served as European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development since November 2014. Can a Commissioner be removed by the EU ? – No. The government of each member state (in this case Ireland) nominates a member for the Commission, but cannot later give them any orders or remove them from their post. The members of the Commission are to act in the interest of the European Union as a whole, not their home country. We question this as Ireland has recently been setting up live export deals with non-EU destinations such as: Lebanon; Morocco; Russia; Rwanda and Tunisia.

Ireland exported 246,000 live animals in 2018, according to the IFA. The majority were calves and weanlings going to Spain and the Netherlands. The IFA wants to double live export numbers in 2019, and gain more access to markets in Turkey and North Africa.

The question is – has Commissioner Hogan been a voice for the Irish agriculture industry rather than addressing issues within the EU such as live animal transport ?

A Commissioner’s basic monthly salary is fixed at 112.5% of the top civil service grade. This works out at €22,367.04 per month.

In 2015 the Court of Justice judged – Zuchtvieh arrest – that the Transport Regulation 1/2005’s provisions not only apply to the EU but rather to the entire journey of transporting European animals outside the EU until their final destination, still in Third countries there are not facilities to unload, feed, water, rest animals and to provide them with basic care. And yet the trade continues and so does the suffering, in complete disregard of the highest Court’s Jurisprudence.

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Within Europe, animals are SUPPOSED to be protected by EU Regulation 1/2005, – ‘the protection of live animals during transport and related operations’; but live animals in transport are routinely failed by this legislation.

The way in which the trade of live animals is currently carried out in the EU is in clear breach of Article 13 of the Treaty on the Function of the EU (TFEU), which is a requirement to “pay full regard to” animal welfare in formulating and implementing EU agriculture policy. In addition, by facilitating and supplying live EU animals to countries that are consistently failing to meet standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) – the EU Commission is undermining the work of the OIE to improve animal welfare standards. Compliance with OIE standards is intended to form the basis of trade agreements between countries.


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