VIDEO REFUTES EU COMMISSIONER’S AFFIRMATIONS: COMMISSIONER JOHN DALLI ANNOUNCED IN FRONT OF CAMERAS A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL TO CHANGE RULES ON LONG-DISTANCE TRANSPORT…
AND AFTER LESS THAN A WEEK HE’S DENYING HE EVER SAID THAT EUROPEAN ANIMAL WELFARE NGOs LAUNCH ACTION TO REMIND COMMISSIONER DALLI THAT HE IS ENTRUSTED TO WORK ON BEHALF OF EUROPEAN CITIZENS AND FOR THE PROTECTION OF EUROPEAN ANIMALS, NOT AGAINST THEM.
Last Thursday, 7 June, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, John Dalli (Malta) received a group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and of rep
resentatives of European animal welfare protection, who handed in 1,103,248 signatures of citizens asking that the transport of animals for the purpose of slaughter be limited to no longer than 8 hours.
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.
On the occasion of the petition hand-in, Commissioner Dalli said that ‘by 2014, the Commission will be coming with a communication with a legislative proposal on a holistic approach to animal welfare (…) naturally, it will also give indications of the transportation of animals‘.
Introduced to the press by Dan Jørgensen MEP, who praised him because ‘even though the Commissioner was not able to promise us the 8 hours, he did in fact promise us that we will have a revision of the legislation on this issue’, Commissioner Dalli started by saying, ‘In effect I have to say that animal welfare is one of the priorities of the Commission’, not denying what he had just promised.
After less than a week, the Commissioner denied on several occasions that he had ever said he would review the present legislation. Mr Dalli went back to the old line that now is not the time to propose changes to the legislation and that he is not planning to propose any such changes.
Unfortunately for Mr Dalli, last week he made his promises in front of the cameras of the international media, and part of the recording of the press conference is now available on the website www.8hours.eu , where citizens are invited to send a template letter to Commissioner Dalli, or send their own email, to warn him that he cannot deny what he said in front of the elected representatives of European citizens… and of TV cameras.
Christa Blanke, founder and president of Animals’ Angels, said: ‘The Commissioner himself, during the meeting that preceded the official hand-in of 1,103,248 signatures, admitted that some parts of this Regulation are impossible to enforce. Then, in front of the cameras, he confirmed the promise he made to MEPs and representatives of NGOs from all over Europe, that he would publish a proposal for changes to the Regulation by 2014.
Waiting another two years to start dealing with the suffering of millions of animals where the present rules clearly can’t be implemented is a long time, but we decided to support the Commissioner in the moment when he had finally recognised this need.
A complete turnaround in a few days only worries us as animal protectors and as EU citizens: who is the Commissioner responding to? Even more outrageous, if we didn’t have the videos to publish we would have appeared as liars regarding what the Commissioner said. This behaviour is totally unacceptable.
We ask the Commission to comply with his mandate given by the EU Treaty to protect animals and start to work immediately on the review of Regulation 1/2005. This is now the only dignified alternative to resigning for trying to deny his own promises to representatives of EU citizens’.
Adolfo Sansolini, co-ordinator of the 8hours campaign,said: ‘We are appalled at seeing how Commissioner Dalli is treating the demands of well-over one million citizens and of the majority of their elected representatives who adopted Written Declaration 49/2011 only three months ago. We cannot accept to be branded as liars or manipulating the Commissioner’s words, a stigma that would have remained if we didn’t have the recordings now available on the 8hours website.
Commissioner Dalli is supposed to work on behalf of European citizens, not against them, and to protect European animals. The time to do it is now. We are now worried that even if Mr Dalli returned to his promise of last week to issue a proposal by 2014, the political willingness is not there.
We therefore ask for an immediate review of Regulation 1/2005 in its parts that in some cases have not been implemented for over twenty years and where new scientific evidence is available, as required by the Regulation itself. The Commissioner is no longer in a position where he can ask us to wait for another two years to see a proposal. We offer full collaboration – as usual – to identify problems and define solutions‘.
The footage and audio recording are now available on the www.8hours.eu website, where people are invited to send a letter to Commissioner Dalli to protest against the denial of his own words within less than a week, and confirm the request for an immediate change of the rules on transport which currently permit the intense suffering of millions of animals on European roads.
A new report on live transport published only a few weeks ago is available for downloading on the same website.