28 September 2012

Malta, Mediterranean Conference Centre
Triq l-Isptar ,Valletta


Pigs transported from Spain to Italy (Photo: Animals’ Angels)

Millions of animals are transported over long distances on European roads, sometimes for several days, only to be killed on arrival. This huge amount of suffering can easily be avoided by killing the animals in the nearest slaughterhouse to the farm and then transporting their meat and carcasses.


On 15 March, the European Parliament adopted Written Declaration 49/2011, which calls on the EU institutions to establish a maximum 8-hour limit on the journey of animals transported for the purpose of slaughter.


On 7 June, representatives of animal welfare NGOs from all over Europe and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) handed in 1,103,248 signatures to Commissioner for Health and Consumers, John Dalli, who is responsible for animal welfare in the European Union. In front of the cameras, Mr Dalli announced that “by 2014 the Commission will publish a legislative proposal”, which would include live transport and transport times. On the same occasion, the Commissioner admitted that “some species of animals require a much lower figure than 8 hours”.


A few days later, Mr Dalli denied that he ever promised a review of the rules on transport, and had his staff affirm that enforcement of the present rules was enough. Some of those rules have been in place for over 20 years and have never been enforced. Mr Dalli has provided no explanation as to why such rules would start to be enforced now.

Some of the norms contained in the present legislation cannot possibly be enforced. In some cases, scientific evidence is available which according to the present rules should prompt an immediate review of Regulation 1/2005.


Commissioner Dalli is ignoring these facts, together with the demands of the majority of Members of the European Parliament – including all the Maltese MEPs – and of over one million EU citizens. What makes Mr Dalli think that the suffering of millions of animals and the will of EU citizens are less relevant than the profits of a few?


The 8hours campaign was launched jointly by Animals’ Angels – an international organisation which has documented hundreds of cases of severe suffering endured by animals transported on long-distance journeys – together with Danish MEP Dan Jørgensen. The aim of the initiative is to limit the transport of animals for the purpose of slaughter to no longer than 8 hours.


This conference is one of the actions organised within the frame of the 8hours campaign with the aim of increasing knowledge on the issue of live animal transport and putting an end to the intense suffering of millions of animals in long-distance transports.


John Dalli was appointed by the Maltese government as its EU Commissioner. We believe that Maltese citizens should be particularly aware of what Mr Dalli is doing – or refusing to do – within the scope of his mandate.

Participation in the conference is free.

On the 8hours website you can see the draft programme and register to attend the conference.