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EU must insist that animal transport rules are better enforced

November 15, 2011 1:02 PM

Liz Lynne MEP with Joanne White of World Horse Welfare - campaigning to end the scandal of horse crueltyAn EU report which found that existing animal transport rules are being widely ignored in continental Europe must now be followed by tough action so the law is properly enforced, says Lib Dem Euro MP Liz Lynne.

The West Midlands MEP spoke out after the European Commission published a long awaited report on Monday on the impact and effectiveness of tougher regulations introduced in 2007 on the welfare of animals during transport.

The report sets out serious and widespread evidence that the rules governing journey time and conditions were often ignored, including:

(1) animals being moved while clearly unfit;
(2) overstocking of vehicles;
(3) transport of animals in compartments which were not high enough;
(4) animals not receiving enough water during the journey;
(5) animals being transported much longer than the maximum allowed travelling time.

Inspectors also discovered logbooks which claimed lorries had made journeys with an average speed from end to end of over 100 km/h (62 mph) even though that is greater than the permitted maximum.

Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Liz Lynne, a longstanding campaigner against animal cruelty, said:

"This long delayed report shows that though there have been improvements since the tougher regulations became law in 2007, in many member states the rules on animal welfare and transport are being widely ignored.

"This is not only causing great suffering to horses, cattle, sheep and other livestock but is unfair competition for hauliers and farmers who bother to treat their animals properly.

"The immediate priority response to this document, which I find shocking, is for the European Commission and member states to take tough and effective steps to enforce the law and fine those who do not comply, with criminal action against the worst offenders."

ENDS

The report can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/transport/docs/10112011_report_en.pdf