ANIT Committee vote: a missed opportunity failing animals and citizens
3 December 2021
Press Release –Eurogroup for animals
After eighteen months of work, yesterday the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT) voted on a series of compromise amendments to its concluding draft report and recommendations.
Despite some positive calls for improvement, the final report’s text, as adopted, fails to address the bulk of the problems, calling for minor improvements rather than supporting a systemic change.
Indeed, despite acknowledging the poor implementation of the current Transport Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005) especially when animal consignments leave the Union, the Committee supports a continuation of live exports beyond the EU, calling for a meat and carcass trade only “when possible”.
Additionally, the text lacks clear language on the need to establish a maximum journey time of 8 hours, utterly disregarding EU citizens’ calls.
While it considers that the transport of unweaned animals should be avoided, unweaned lambs remain basically forgotten by the Committee, which only called for not allowing the transport of unweaned calves below 4 weeks of age.
Eurogroup for Animals was pleased to see that the Committee acknowledged the lack of comprehensive species– specific provisions, and called for ad-hoc provisions to guarantee the welfare of all the animals being transported, including fish, poultry, horses, as well as cats and dogs.
During the past year the Committee organised several hearings and workshops with experts, however the information retrieved seems to have only partially informed the final texts.
The Transport Regulation will soon be revised and for the final vote in January Eurogroup for Animals calls on the European Parliament to step up the ANIT report’s ambition level and reflect citizens views by banning any long-distance transport, refining, replacing and reducing intra-EU transport, and shifting to meat, carcasses and genetic materials for export.
“Despite some good wording on meat and carcasses trade, the committee did not make any call to ban live export.
This is very disappointing, given the evidence the same committee collected thorough hearings, field missions and workshops with experts in the field, and to the severe crisis at sea which happened during its mandate.
Indeed the Committee witnessed the Karim Allah and Elbeik vessels spending three months around the Mediterranean in a bureaucratic limbo which ended with the killing of 2,600 cows.”
(Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals)
With this Inquiry the Members of the European Parliament had the chance to set the basis for a revised Transport Regulation that both meets animal needs and contributes to building a sustainable Europe, in line with the EU Farm to Fork Strategy.
“This cannot happen if long-distance transports are improved rather than banned, and if we continue to allow for the transport of young and pregnant animals over 40% of the pregnancy stage.
We will continue pushing for key changes to ameliorate the worst elements at the time of the vote in Plenary, expected in January 2022. However, as it stands now, this Report is testament to a political divide in the ANIT committee and seriously failing to address the cruelty and tragedies we have been facing for decades.”
(Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals)
And I mean..This group has given a statement on their functions and guidelines – which clearly favored the “farm animal model” – with which the group had actually said goodbye to all important requirements of the NGOs in advance.
Quote from the statement- “Farmers need to know that the animals they raise will be treated appropriately throughout their lives, so everyone involved in the food chain have to work towards achieving this goal. Any incident has a negative impact, first of all on the animals affected, secondly on those involved in farming and animal care, and finally, on consumers”.
As the ANIT- report makes clear, the abolition of live animal transport is not an issue for the 30 committee members, and we are a long way from limiting animal transport to 8 hours.
As it stands, none of this is fair work for the animals, even if those responsible have tried very hard to justify a hypocritical report as a verified testimony to the welfare of the animals.
It is no wonder that the committee remains loyal to the line and in bondage to its employers.
From the beginning it was a mirage to entrust the committee the welfare of the animals, because a function in the EU apparatus makes a critical look impossible
It’s just about getting the political “priorities” right.
The items are important – what else are the needs of the animals of interest?
My best regards to all, Venus