WAV Comment: Masses of EU and British animal welfare organisations, including us, have been calling for the introduction of a one off maximum 8 hour journey time for decades. In our specific case, 35+ years. As part of this requirement, they also demanded that the industry change as much as possible to a (dead) meat and carcass only trade. So why, only now, is the fossil called the EU just getting round to taking this issue seriously ?
EU citizens (and non EU citizens from the UK) are on the ball and want major change. It is only the EU Commissions and their lobbyists who appear to want to stick with the status quo. These days are now gone and people want, or demand change. The EU should get a clear message of what will happen if it ignores the wishes of its own citizens. MEP’s have woken up to the fact that they will be deselected if there is no change; so it is essential that they keep constant pressure applied on this issue, or they face the consequences.
We watch from the UK side lines now (having done Brexit and thus being allowed to change the live transport laws ourselves) to see if the EU fossil actually steps up to the plate and meets the demands of the EU citizens. God forbid the EU if nothing changes !
AGRIFISH Council – Member States step up their game for animals
18 July 2022
Today’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council discussed two key dossiers for animals, specifically live animal transport and aquaculture: 13 Member States call for an ambitious revision of the Transport Regulation including maximum journey times as well as a shift to a meat and carcass trade. Now it’s time for the European Commission to incorporate these views in the revision which is due at the end of 2023.
Eurogroup for Animals is pleased to see concrete demands from Member States that can effectively have an impact on the welfare of animals. Indeed, the Belgian, Danish, Dutch, German and Swedish delegations (Vught Alliance) presented an information paper which received the support of 8 other Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Malta, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Slovenia).
The paper calls for a maximum of 8 hours for animals transported for slaughter, restricted journey times for unweaned animals, a ban on certain long journey exports, temperature intervals tailored for each species, specific rules for fish, amphibians, reptiles, dogs, cats, as well as transitioning to transporting meat, carcasses and genetic materials
Eurogroup welcome the introduction of species-specific maximum journey times and requirements for all animals, including cats and dogs, fish, and other vertebrate animals, 8 hour journey time for animals for slaughter as well as the acknowledgement that “it would be much more advantageous to transport meat, carcasses and breeding materials instead.” Clearly citizens expect even more ambitious changes but the paper is a step in the right direction
Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals.
Despite the fact that the wording on certain key topics, such as live export and the transport of breeding animals, could have been much stronger, and while the specific needs of animals used for scientific purposes could have been better specified, Eurogroup for Animals believes this ministerial proposal is an important step towards the refinement, reduction and replacement of live animals transport.
In January 2021, Eurogroup for Animals published a White Paper on the revision of the Transport Regulation, in which species- and category-specific provisions for the transport of terrestrial and aquatic farm animals, equids, cats and dogs, as well as animals used in science are presented. Eurogroup trust that the European Commission (EC) will take Eurogroup for Animals’ position into consideration for the preparation of the draft legislative proposal.
Eurogroup are pleased to see the support the Paper obtained at the Agri-Fish Council, this encouraging result should provide the EC with a green light to proceed in line with these recommendations and ensure that the revised Transport Regulation will deliver towards its objective: the protection of animals during transport, and that it will be coherent with the EU sustainability ambitions.
On fish welfare in aquaculture, Eurogroup welcome the Council supporting the objectives that the EC has established for Member States and for itself, including developing best practice guidelines and validated indicators for fish welfare in aquaculture, and providing training to operators and competent authorities. To meet these objectives, the EC needs to leverage its own resources, including the European Food Safety Authority, and to create an EU Animal Welfare Reference Centre for fish, while Member States need to prioritise these fish welfare objectives in their national aquaculture plans and distribution of EU fishery subsidies.