Legislation on long-distance animal transport needs review
The EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, has agreed with animal welfare groups that the present Transport Regulation for animals on the way to the slaughterhouse needs to be reviewed.
The statement has been welcomed by welfare groups, such as World Horse Welfare, as a much-needed change of direction, which hitherto has seen the Commission maintaining that the present rules would address the serious welfare problems still experienced by tens of millions of animals transported on European roads every year.
Commissioner Dalli made the statement after meetings with MEPs and animal welfare groups in Brussels, when a petition signed by over a million EU citizens calling for a maximum journey limit of 8 hours, was handed over.
He agreed with the participants that the Regulation is not sufficient to guarantee an acceptable level of welfare for animals during transport, and announced that the Commission will propose a review of EU legislation that will include a reduction of transport times, amongst other matters.
Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare, commented: “We welcome the Commission’s recognition that enforcement alone is not enough, particularly as elements of the current Transport Regulation are largely unenforceable. This is a good step in the right direction, but as always the devil will be in the detail."
He added: "We will now work with the Commission, the EU Parliament, Ministers and other animal welfare groups to press for this review to commence as soon as possible, and for changes to be made immediately where the Regulation is out of line with scientific knowledge.”