EU revealed to be world’s biggest live animal exporter.

Extra Decks Found on Capsized Livestock Carrier

EU revealed to be world’s biggest live animal exporter

“to improve the welfare conditions of the animals transported outside the EU” – “it would “continue to monitor exports of live animals and take all the necessary measures within the remit of its competence in order to improve the implementation of the EU legislation.”

WAV Commentwhat complete and utter EU bollocks as always. EU = animal abuse – full stop.

A European Commission spokesperson said in an email it was cooperating with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) “to improve the welfare conditions of the animals transported outside the EU” and that it would “continue to monitor exports of live animals and take all the necessary measures within the remit of its competence in order to improve the implementation of the EU legislation.”

EU revealed to be world’s biggest live animal exporter | Live exports | The Guardian

Secret decks found on ship that capsized killing thousands of sheep |  Romania | The Guardian

Bloc exported more than 1.6 billion chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and cattle in 2019, but faces criticism over welfare failings

New analysis suggests the EU could be responsible for up to 80% of the global trade in live farm animals, which continues to be linked to animal welfare failings.

Global data provided to the Guardian by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) indicates that 1.8 billion live chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and cattle were moved across a border in 2019. The EU was estimated to be responsible for more than three-quarters of that total.

“A large part of the cross-border movement of live animals takes place in the EU,” said the FAO’s livestock development officer, Anne Mottet.

The global trade in live farm animals – worth more than $20bn (£14bn) a year – was revealed by a Guardian investigation last year to have more than quadrupled in size over the past 50 years. However, inadequate regulation means that animals might be put at risk on some journeys, or exposed to cruelty when they reach their destination.

The (UK) government is proposing to ban the export of live animals from England and Wales, unless it is for breeding or longer-term use – not just for fattening and slaughter.

Concerns about animal welfare during transport led the EU to establish a committee of inquiry last year to investigate alleged failings.

Transport risks for live animals include stress during loading and unloading, injury, hunger, thirst and exhaustion, according to a report published today by animal advocacy organisation Eurogroup for Animals, which also highlighted the potential for lower slaughter standards on arrival and the higher risk of infectious disease spread during stressful transportation.

The Eurogroup for Animals is calling for regulatory reform including shorter journey times and a “shift from live transport to a trade in meat and carcasses as well as genetic material.”

The FAO argues that it does not make sense to aggregate all transported animals in the same way. “Some are very small and other large. One cannot add chicken and cows. For example, 95% of the 1.8 billion animals that crossed a boarder in 2019 are chicken, while cattle represented less than 1% of this total,” said Mottet.

One of the factors driving the EU’s live transport of animals, said Ditte Erichsen, a veterinarian with Animal Protection Denmark, is that countries tend to specialise in producing a particular food animal, often for export.

“Denmark has become the world’s largest exporter of pigs,” said Erichsen. Most of them, she said, are piglets of about three months in age and their journey times are often over eight hours. According to the Eurogroup report, which uses Eurostat data, about 15.7 million Danish pigs left the country in 2019.

“This is the result of a tendency which we have seen over the last decade, where the pig production has specialised to a degree, where the piglets are born in one country, fattened in another and maybe slaughtered in a third country,” Erichsen said.

Particular risks for pigs, she said, are heat stress because pigs cannot sweat, suffocation due to overcrowding, prolonged hunger and thirst and no space to rest.

Iris Baumgaertner, of Swiss-German NGO AWF-TSB, said in Germany the specialty is hatched chicks. The report found that the country exported 312 million head of poultry within the EU in 2019, of which almost 100 million weighed under 185 grams.

“The number of animals being transported around the EU, and the millions of chickens leaving Germany, is the insane result of globalisation and specialisation,” Baumgaertner said.

EU subsidies are another factor driving animal transport, said Gabriel Paun, a Romanian animal advocate and EU director for NGO, Animals International. “In the Middle East and north Africa, they prefer [their] local sheep meat but the Romanian meat is very cheap, partly because of the EU subsidies,” Paun said.

Paun said 2020 data is expected to show that an estimated 3 million Romanian sheep were exported to Saudi Arabia. Transport itself is cheap, with a shipment to Saudi Arabia costing about $25 (£18) per head, or less on larger ships, Paun said.

Romania has recently been accused of “complete silence” over its investigation into the sinking of the Queen Hind in November 2019, which resulted in the deaths of more than 14,000 sheep.

Although data on the live transport of fish is limited – and counts fish in weight rather numbers of animals – the Eurogroup report estimates that nearly 54,000 tons of live fish were transported around the EU in 2019. Of those, 75% are trout, carp, eel and bluefin tuna.

Live fish are equally prone to transport stress. “[Fish] are starved for at least a day prior to transport, but sometimes up to two weeks, which can cause aggression between fish as they look for food,” said Christine Xu of the Aquatic Life Institute. Other transport risks include poor water quality and overcrowding.

A European Commission spokesperson said in an email it was cooperating with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) “to improve the welfare conditions of the animals transported outside the EU” and that it would “continue to monitor exports of live animals and take all the necessary measures within the remit of its competence in order to improve the implementation of the EU legislation.”

The following is an old article, but interesting as it still reflects the situation.

 

EU’s live export trade puts welfare of millions of animals at risk – report

EU’s live export trade puts welfare of millions of animals at risk – report | Animal welfare | The Guardian

This article is more than 9 months old

European commission finds welfare gaps, non-compliance and poor planning in trade of animals to North Africa and the Middle-East

The welfare of millions of cattle, sheep and goats exported from the EU is being put at risk by failings including heat stress, bad planning and a lack of information from the destination country, a new European commission report has found.

Among the systemic problems identified were poor planning for high temperatures, an issue that has been raised repeatedly by campaigners. In summer, the report said, animals “in many vehicles arriving to ports” must sometimes “endure temperatures of over 35C”.

The report criticised the way that, as one campaigner put it, animals “disappear’” at their destination. It noted that most EU countries “do not receive any feedback” from the country of destination about the condition of the animals on arrival. Nor do they get any information, “from the transporter, ship’s Master or vessel operator”.

Also singled out were poor contingency planning, incomplete or incorrect departure documentation, and an inability to prevent recurring compliance problems.

One of the welfare organisations that worked with the commission to produce the report gave it a cautious welcome. “We find it strong even if it pardons Ireland and Portugal where we also found lots of problems,” said Animals International’s EU director, Gabriel Paun.

But others pointed out that the report also raised many issues. Peter Stevenson, policy adviser for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) , said: “The new report reveals a disturbing picture of non-compliance by member state authorities and exporters.”

Romania, a major breeder and exporter of sheep, comes in for particular criticism following the drowning of more than 14,000 sheep last November. The sheep were on board Romanian-approved livestock ship, the Queen Hind, which keeled over shortly after leaving the Romanian port of Midia. Only 180 sheep survived.

The report identified gaps in animal welfare regulations, which, it said, “are not geared to detect issues that could cause vessels to tilt and overturn”.

Ireland and Portugal are praised for having comparatively better systems in place for livestock approval and health inspection prior to loading, helping to minimise welfare risks.

Uncertainty as to who is legally responsible for the proper care of livestock at different points on their journey – particularly in ports or during sea journeys – is another weakness, the report said.
Delays at ports are another problem, as many thousands of animals arrive for the same shipment. Of Europe’s 13 exit ports, only six, the report said, “have facilities in the port or arrangements nearby where, in case of need, the transporters can unload, rest, water and feed the animals”.

The report found that ships are also rife with problems, with only 24% of livestock vessels licensed by “white list” countries. Ships that fly the flag of a white list countries are recognised as having a consistently low rate of port detentions for regulatory failings.

Asked what action the commission would be taking following the report, a spokesperson said it would “explore the feasibility of harmonising and strengthening, through a legal act, the inspections of livestock vessels into an EU database in cooperation with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)”.

The spokesperson added that the commission was “cooperating with the OIE [World Organisation for Animal Health] to develop a network of contact points dedicated to animal transport in third countries. The objective is to reinforce our collaboration with these countries on this issue”.

More than 30 EU welfare organisations wrote to the European commission last week arguing that cattle exports to Libya by Ireland, Spain and Romania were in breach of EU regulations. The letter said that under EU Article 13 the commission and member states are obliged “to take animal welfare into account in a thorough and serious manner in formulating and implementing policies in specified fields”.

The EU’s live animal export welfare failings are laid out in the Welfare of Animals Transported by Sea report, circulated this week and based on information gathered by thecommission from EU countries including Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Portugal and Ireland in 2017 and 2018.

The European Union exports around 1 million cattle and 2 million sheep each year to non-EU countries, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2019, the value of the EU’s live animal export trade was more than €12bn (£10.6bn).

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