Vote on ANIT report: EU Parliament misses chance to end animal suffering on Europe’s roads

Brussels, 20.01.22. “The EU has missed a unique opportunity to put an end to the misery of animal transports and to live up to its responsibility towards animals in need of protection. Many of our demands – such as limiting the maximum transport time to eight hours – were watered down. Therefore, it was not possible for me to vote for the report, I abstained from my vote,” explains Manuela Ripa from the ÖDP disappointed.

“Long-distance transports in particular cause extreme animal suffering. Which is why a limit on transport duration for all animals and all means of transport – including ships – would have been important.” Together with her Greens/EFA group, the MEP had also campaigned for a ban on exports to third countries, in addition to a reduction in transport duration. “As soon as the animals cross the EU border, compliance with EU animal welfare standards can no longer be guaranteed,” the EU politician clarified.

Other important demands of the group were a ban on the transport of very young and pregnant animals and a switch to the transport of meat instead of live animals. The ÖDP politician elaborates on one of her core demands: “Whenever possible, pasture slaughter or slaughter on site should be preferred. There needs to be a system change: away from live animal transport to meat transport.”

But there are positives to report as well: The report calls on the Commission to impose stronger penalties for animal welfare violations by individual member states and to initiate infringement proceedings should countries repeatedly violate regulations. An EU-wide harmonized sanctions system and better cooperation between member states are also to be initiated in this context.

“With a strong report on animal transports, the European Parliament could have set the course for the system change today, unfortunately this chance was missed. Now it is up to the European Commission to present a new animal transport regulation – hopefully with clear, animal suffering-reducing – legislation by 2023,” Ripa concluded.