Author Topic: MEPs in Europe urge better transport conditions. 17.12.2012  (Read 504 times)

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MEPs in Europe urge better transport conditions. 17.12.2012
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 09:22:32 AM »
  MEPs urge better animal transport conditions       MEPs urge better animal transport conditionsMore animals are being transported inside the EU in 'sub-standard' conditions according to MEPs.

During a debate in the European Parliament, they said the remedy was to enforce existing rules properly, step up inspections and impose more dissuasive penalties on offenders.

"Mahatma Gandhi said that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals. We should do everything in our power to reduce their suffering" said Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR, PL).

"Our call for measures to cut transport times for animals, including a concrete step towards setting an eight-hour limit for transport of animals for slaughter proves that we do care for their wellbeing."

The resolution was adopted with 555 votes in favour, 56 against, and 34 abstentions.

UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew, the agricultural spokesman for the Party, accused the EU of 'gesture politics' and called for existing legislation to be more widely enforced instead of new regulations being imposed on British farmers.

"We already have adequate legislation on animal welfare" the MEP said.

"What’s missing is enforcement of current rules. In the UK, we have two inspection bodies; the RSPCA and Trading Standards. They will frequently be present at markets and abattoirs where lorries full of livestock are being unloaded."

"These people will prosecute if they are not happy with what they find.  I object, in the strongest possible terms to politicians from countries where they engage in things like bull baiting, lecturing me and other farmers on how to transport our livestock."

The numbers of animals transported within the EU rose substantially in 2005-2009, e.g. by 70%, in the case of pigs. One-third of these journeys took eight hours or more.

More inspections and stricter sanctions

To remedy persistent animal welfare problems in transport, existing legislation in all EU member states must be properly and uniformly enforced, MEPs insist. More on-the spot inspections should be carried out and national sanctions against rule-breakers should be harmonised and made far more dissuasive, they say.

Eight-hour limit would not suffice

Measures to restrict the time taken to transport animals to slaughter to eight hours should be considered, but geographical and science-based exceptions for certain species must be allowed, says the text.

However, an eight-hour journey limit would not by itself suffice to improve animal welfare, which often depends more on proper vehicle equipment and on the good handling of animals, MEPs note.

Parliament therefore calls for science-based improvements in transport conditions, including space and water allowances.

To avoid unnecessarily long-distance transport of animals, the EU should help to create short and transparent food supply chains and take measures to halt the decline of small, local abattoirs and promote local processing, MEPs urged.