EC report on animal transport: the European Commission fails to protect animals transported for slaughter in Europe.
86European NGOs call for an end to long-distance animal transport.
Over 900,000 Europeans and 75 MEPs join the 8hours campaign

10 November 2011: This morning the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) of the European Commission released its report on the impact of Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and on the trade flows of live animals within the enlarged Community. The report is available online on the European Commission website.
In today’s meat trade, the vast majority of animals are slaughtered close to their place of rearing and then transported as carcasses. Nevertheless, huge numbers of farmed animals are still transported alive under unacceptable conditions on European roads, only to be slaughtered on arrival.

The Commission’s report, which was originally expected to be published earlier this year, identifies and analyses many of the shortcomings of the existing Regulation and confirms that ‘severe animal welfare problems during transport persist’. It also includes some of the information provided by animal welfare organisations such as Animals’ Angels, which over many years have carried out regular checks of lorries, markets and operations related to long-distance transport.

Cornwall, UK, 2011

Cornwall, UK, 2011

Nevertheless, the report falls short of putting forward the key proposal that would provide a concrete response to the suffering still endured by millions of animals transported on European roads every year: a maximum overall 8-hour limit for all journeys of animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered.

Around 900,000 Europeans have already signed the online petition on the 8hours website which calls for an end to long-distance journeys for animals sent for slaughter in the European Union. One million signatures are expected to be presented to the European Commission early next year.

Furthermore, 75 MEPs from 19 Member States and all political groups have already expressed their support  for the campaign. The updated list is online.

This initiative was launched jointly by Animals’ Angels – an international organisation which has documented hundreds of cases of severe suffering endured by transported animals – together with Danish MEP Dan Jørgensen.

The aim of the initiative is to put an end to this additional and totally unnecessary suffering.

Today Animals’ Angels and Deutscher Tierschutzbund have released video footage from an investigation on live animal transports recently carried out in some EU states and Turkey. The images show how after years of attempts by the European institutions to improve transport conditions for animals, journeys over long distances still have terrible consequences.

The video can be watched on YouTube.
‘We welcome the Commission’s report, because it confirms and highlights the limits and insufficiencies of Regulation 1/2005′ said Christa Blanke, Founder and Director of Animals’ Angels. Nevertheless, the report is omitting to propose the key necessary reform to avoid the never-ending repetition of case of intense suffering for the animals: an overall 8-hour limit for all journeys of animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered’.
The long duration of such journeys often causes the animals intense suffering, as has been consistently reported over the years by Animals’ Angels investigators. Current EU legislation makes it possible for animals to be transported for several days.

‘For over 20 years the European Parliament, and millions of Europeans, have repeatedly asked to establish an 8-hour journey limit from farm to slaughterhouse’ said Danish MEP Dan Jørgensen, co-promoter of the 8hours campaign. ‘With the renewed support of nearly a million citizens and of dozens of colleagues elected in 19 Member States, in the coming weeks we will do our best to ensure a reform of the Regulation and to put an end to the intense suffering of millions of animals in long-distance transports’.

The gathering of signatures for the 8hours petition on the website will continue until 5 January 2012. In the coming weeks, a series of initiatives will be launched in the European Parliament.

Further information about this campaign is available on the website.

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