Transport of animals: animal welfare needs to be better protected

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Credit: Kypros

Today, Members of the European Parliament called for a significant improvement in animal welfare during transport. Liberals and Democrats stress that the transport time of live animals should be kept as short as possible and that a ban on exports to third countries in which animal welfare needs are not respected is needed. Moreover, the EU and its member states must better enforce and harmonise existing rules and penalise offenders, including the possibility of sanctions on those member states, which fail to apply the EU rules sufficiently.

Fredrick Federley, Member of the Agriculture Committee and Shadow Rapporteur on this file, said today:

“Animal transport is a matter of great concern to the public, not least because member states fail to comply with EU rules and thus create not only unnecessary animal suffering but also unfair competition. It is essential that animals’ welfare is respected and better protected. This is not only in the interest of the animals. It is also important for European consumers who rightly demand the highest food quality and fair and humane standards to produce it.”

“Calling for shorter transport times, promoting alternative strategies, such as local slaughterhouses and meat processing facilities close to the place of rearing, transportation of meat rather than live animals are important and a first step into the right direction. However, more needs to be done. In the long run, we have to rewrite existing legislation to sustainably ensure better welfare of animals during transport.”

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