Day: January 25, 2023

Italy: Lambs Transported From Eastern Europe to Italy Face Gruelling Journeys This Winter.

Lambs transported from Eastern Europe to Italy face gruelling journeys this winter

December 2022

Essere Animali Investigation

Several roadside checks have been carried out by our member organisation Essere Animali in the Gorizia area, northeast Italy. Seven trucks from Eastern Europe were identified transporting animals in overcrowded conditions, without proper watering systems, or adequate partitions and heights for transport.

As the Christmas season approaches, the number of trucks importing lambs into Italy from Eastern Europe rises, with long, gruelling journeys for the animals.

Last year, in the days leading up to Christmas, more than 600,000 lambs were slaughtered in Italy (source: National Livestock Registry Database), which is about a quarter of those slaughtered per year, and of these, one in four is imported from abroad. 

The lambs range in age from not even 2 months to 3 months old, transported mainly from Romania and Hungary to slaughterhouses located mainly in Latium and Apulia, enduring journeys that could last from 24 to 30 hours.

In recent days, Essere Animali carried out an inspection of live animal transport trucks at the border between Italy and Slovenia, documenting the conditions of 7 four-floor trucks, with insufficient heights that did not allow the animals to stand upright, leading to several problems, including restricted movement. The lambs’ heads were touching the top floor of the compartment, a condition that can cause bumps, bruising and injury, as well as not allowing adequate ventilation. 

Activists from Essere Animali also found: 

Overcrowding: densities were too high, it is impossible for all the animals to reach the watering systems positioned only on one side, with the risk of them stepping on each other in case someone wants to sit down to rest; 

Dangerous gaps: lambs get stuck in gaps created between floor and wall or interior partitions and shelves;

Inadequate beverage systems: they were found to be inactive during transport, only activated during travel breaks, and some were not functional anyway. Moreover, even when functional, they were not suitable for lambs since due to their young age they are unable to use them. 

The inadequate and unsuitable watering system is a prime example of the current regulatory gaps, which, combined with the high transport densities, cause suffering and thirst in lambs, putting them at serious risk of dehydration. 

These are conditions also denounced by Essere Animali in Easter 2022 and for which the organisation had managed to get sanctions issued under the Legislative Decree No. 151 of July 25, 2007, which provides penalties for violating the provisions of European Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.

In 2021, only 3% of trucks carrying lambs from Romania were checked. The same fate also befell the one million cattle transported from France and the more than 800 thousand pigs that arrived from Denmark, with 4.6% of consignments checked. Of the more than 66 thousand live animal consignments that arrived in Italy, only 152 sanctions were imposed.

The control activities of Essere Animali also aim to document the conditions of transports that, while complying with current regulations, present critical aspects for animal welfare and highlight the need to implement European laws that better protect animals during the delicate phase of transport, which often causes animals additional stress and suffering. 

The European Commission is currently engaged in a comprehensive review of laws on animal husbandry, transport and slaughter, with the aim of aligning them with the latest available scientific data, expanding their scope and ensuring a higher level of animal welfare. The new legislative proposal is expected in 2023, and Member States can play an important role by supporting an ambitious proposal for the protection of farmed animals. 

We will inform the European Commission and the Minister of Health of the outcome of the inspections we carried out at the border again this year, providing images that document an alarming reality. The European Regulation, besides being frequently violated, is not able to protect animals concretely, and this is the most serious fact that shows how important the revision of the legislation is.

Today it is legal to transport lambs as young as two months old for journeys lasting up to 30 hours, subjecting them to conditions that generate them great stress and suffering. Together with other NGOs from across Europe, we are calling for greater protections, such as banning the transport of live animals over long distances, decreasing travel hours, and banning the transport of unweaned animals.

The European Commission has a chance to really improve conditions for animals. Do not betray the demands of your citizens!

Simone Montuschi, President of Essere Animali

Read more at source

Essere Animali

Regards Mark

EU: Great News – Fur Free Europe Reaches 1,000,000 Signatures, But More Needed to Ensure Validation Checks.

Fur Free Europe reaches 1,000,000 signatures

December 2022

The European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe has reached 1,000,000 signatures of support in little over 6 months. The initiative, which aims to ban fur farming and the sale of farmed fur products in the European Union, is well on its way to becoming a record breaking ECI for animals. But what happens now, and why will the campaign continue to gather signatures?

On 6 December, Fur Free Europe topped 1,000,000 signatures from citizens across the European Union. The campaign also confirmed successfully reaching the signature threshold in 14 Member States; Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, France, Belgium, Greece and Austria.

What happens now?

Every European Citizens’ Initiative requires one million validated signatures in order to succeed. 

Once the Fur Free Europe initiative closes, it will undergo a stringent verification procedure: governments from each Member State will check that signatures were gathered from real persons, that each person has added their support only once, and that their personal details such as name and ID number are registered and correct.

Due to this important verification procedure, it is possible that a large number of signatures could be invalidated and discounted, leaving the final figure below the required one million. 

For this reason, we will continue to collect signatures from citizens across Europe who share our belief that fur farming and the placement of fur products on the market are cruel, unnecessary and unethical. 

How many more signatures do we need?

Fur Free Europe will be pushing on at full force to gain as many signatures as possible, amplifying our call for a Europe without fur farming and ensuring there is no possibility our ECI can be invalidated. 

The most successful European Citizens’ Initiative for animals?

Fur Free Europe has collected one million names faster than any other European Citizens’ Initiative. This fantastic success is sure to increase the urgency for the European Commission to take action and finally bring the European fur industry to a close. 

Would you like to join over one million citizens to make this happen? 

Add your name to Fur Free Europe now, and follow the progress of our incredible movement.

Regards Mark

EU: Successful Shark Finning Citizens’ Initiative Presented to the Commission.

Successful shark finning Citizens’ Initiative presented to the Commission

11 January 2023

The ‘Stop Finning – Stop the Trade’ initiative has become the eighth successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), reaching over 1.1 million statements of support from EU citizens.

The European Commission now has six months to decide on political actions to end the EU shark fin trade.

The initiative calls on the Commission to propose legal measures to end the trade of fins in the EU, including the import, export and transit of fins other than if naturally attached to the animal’s body.

The Commission will meet the ECI organisers to discuss the initiative in detail in the next weeks. A public hearing will then be organised by the European Parliament.

The Commission has until 11 July 2023 to present its official reply, outlining the actions it intends to take: whether to propose legislation, take other non-legislative actions or not act at all.

This initiative is the eighth ECI to have successfully passed the threshold of one million signatures from at least seven Member States, demonstrating that European citizens can help create European policies. 

Today the initiative officially entered the political process, and campaigners publicly delivered the 1.1 million statements of support from EU citizens to the EU institutions in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

The EU has to implement a trade ban immediately. Sharks are important to marine ecosystems and populations recover very slowly from industrial fishing. Hunting such important animals for their fins is the epitome of senselessness. We are counting on the European Commission to implement a strong trade regulation in addition to existing regulations to finally end the shark fin trade in the EU. 

Nils Kluger, spokesperson of “Stop Finning – Stop the Trade”

On Thursday 19th January, the Animal Welfare Intergroup will hold a hybrid meeting where Nils Kluger, Spokesperson and Coordinator of the ECI, will discuss the political process of the validated ECI and the demands to the European Parliament. 

Read more at source

Stop Finning EU

Regards Mark