The EU's Animal Transport Inquiry Committee (ANIT) has voted on its recommendations to the EU Parliament. This involves important changes that could save 'farm' animals on transport much suffering. But unfortunately, despite many good decisions for the animals, the committee has not addressed the central problems in animal transport.
The good things first: Among other things, there are to be stricter controls within the EU and veterinarians are to become mandatory on transport ships. Approval procedures are to be improved and animals are no longer to be transported in their first five months of life – nor are heavily pregnant animals. The committee also voted in favor of limiting 'slaughter' animal transports to 8 hours. These are undoubtedly important steps towards better animal welfare.
But here's the bad news: Long animal transports are becoming a torture for all animals, not just those going to slaughter. Even 'fattening' and 'breeding' animals should - if at all - only be allowed to be transported for a limited time. This also leaves long animal transports to countries outside the EU untouched and rolling on.
The EU Parliament votes on the recommendations in January. If approved, they climb the ladder to the EU Commission which must then act accordingly. Any changes adopted will then be incorporated into the ongoing process of revising EU legislation on the protection of animals during transport.
We hope that as many of the good demands as possible will remain on the way. With our project 'Time to Act for Animals on Transport' we continue to make a strong case for animals. With our report '100 Reasons' we have already provided the EU Commission with 100 reasons why the EU Regulation 01/2005 urgently needs to be revised.